Selangor Journal
State executive councillor for public health and environment Jamaliah Jamaluddin speaks at the launch of KAO Malaysia’s new mosquito repellent, Biore Guard Mos Block Serum, at One World Hotel, Petaling Jaya, on June 13, 2024. — Picture by FIKRI YUSOF/SELANGORKINI

Selangor to review school food safety rules after fatal poisoning

By Yasmin Ramlan

PETALING JAYA, June 13 — The Selangor government has announced plans to review safety procedures involving food prepared for school events, said state executive councillor for public health and environment Jamaliah Jamaluddin.

This comes in light of a food poisoning incident in Gombak that resulted in two deaths and left dozens others unwell.

Jamaliah said the state will collaborate with the Selangor State Health Department (JKNS) to enhance existing guidelines.

“Normally, JKNS encourages caterers and school canteens to undergo inspections periodically, about twice a year. However, the situation is different in this case as the caterer was hired externally.

“We will definitely provide updates if there is any additional information,” she told Selangor Journal after an event at One World Hotel here today.

On Tuesday, police confirmed the deaths of a 17-year-old boy and two-year-old girl, suspected due to poisoning after consuming food from a programme organised at a religious school in Gombak.

The incident also prompted the Health Ministry to initiate an investigation.

Gombak police chief Noor Ariffin Mohamad Nasir reportedly said the teenager had eaten food brought home by his mother after she attended a programme at the school on June 8. He lost consciousness on Monday and died.

The two-year-old girl, meanwhile, ate food brought home by her father, a security guard at the school. She had fever, vomiting and diarrhoea, before dying on June 8.

Investigations showed that 82 people, or 33 per cent of the 247 who consumed the food, experienced food poisoning symptoms.

Jamaliah reminded organisers of activities in schools to be more cautious when selecting caterers, urging them to opt for those known for their food quality and hygiene.

She said this is as children may have lower resistance to food poisoning compared with adults.

“If possible, it is advised to obtain food from school canteen operators as they have more experience in food handling and constantly receive briefings from health agencies,” she said.

Yesterday, the New Straits Times reported the Health Ministry had detected salmonella in stool samples linked to the food poisoning incident.

JKNS said results from other samples sent to the Sungai Buloh National Public Health Laboratory were still pending.

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