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DOH studying microbial contamination of ‘poisonous’ candies

/ 01:03 PM July 13, 2015
toxic durian

THESE are the durian candies that allegedly took ill at least 40 pupils of Kidapawan City Pilot Elementary School in Kidapawan City on Thursday afternoon. The candy, according to its information sheet, is made in Davao City. WILLIAMOR A. MAGBANUA/INQUIRER MINDANAO FILE PHOTO

The Department of Health (DOH) and the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) said on Monday that they are studying the possibility of microbial contamination as the cause of the mass food poisoning.

“We are looking at a possibility of a microbial contamination. Ang una naming pinag-aaralan ay kung meron bang presence ng microorganisms. We are also looking into the possibility of , baka may salmonella,” FDA Deputy Director Ma. Lourdes Santiago in a televised press conference.

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(We are looking at a possibility of a microbial contamination. We will first examine if there is a presence of microorganisms. We are also looking to the possibility that there might be salmonella (in the tainted) candies)

Santiago said that they have conducted tests on the tainted candies with the preliminary results to be released on Wednesday.

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Aside from the presence of microorganisms, DOH spokesperson Lyndon Lee Suy said that they are also examining if the candies were expired or there was a mishandling of the food products.

According to the health department’s latest data, a total of 1,925 people were reported to have been poisoned, 66 of whom are still admitted to various hospitals.

The median age of children who ingested the tainted candies was 14.

Santiago added that they were investigating two Davao-based manufacturers of the durian candies.

Wendy’s, one of the supposed manufacturers of the tainted candies, has earlier claimed that the products were made to look like they manufactured them.

Meanwhile, Lee Suy also asked the public to check the quality of “buy one take one” food products.

“Always check quality of promo items, buy one take one and freebies. Most importantly, avoid unlabelled repacked food products being sold, claiming that these are the same as or made by the manufacturers of known products. Repacked food products must also be properly labelled,” the health official said.

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Surigao del Sur police said that they have arrested 12 sellers so far in relation to the incident. With additional report from Angeli Mae S. Cantillana, INQUIRER.net trainee

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Arrests made after 1,300 poisoned by candies

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TAGS: Department of Health, durian candies, Food Poisoning, Lyndon Lee Suy
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