PETALING JAYA: The noodles from the laksa eatery in Baling, Kedah, where two people died of food poisoning, were found to contain bacteria, the Health Ministry said.
In a statement yesterday, it said laboratory tests conducted on the samples found that the causative agent behind the food poisoning was revealed to be Salmonella enterica serovar Weltevrede.
“The bacteria was found in the patients’ clinical samples and the mee laksa samples involved in the incident,” the ministry said.
It added that the tests on the noodle samples found that the bacteria came from one source: the laksa noodles bought from the stall on Oct 4.
The noodles sold were produced at the premises, which was also owned by the stall owner.
It said possible risk factors contributing to the food poisoning cases were an unhygienic food preparation process and storage of the noodles.
The temperatures during the preparation of the noodles or during the reheating of the noodles were also believed to be inadequate to prevent bacteria contamination, the statement added.
Two deaths were reported in Kedah, while many cases of food poisoning were reported in Kedah, Perak and Selangor.
The ministry said there were no new cases reported since Oct 9 and that the overall number of cases stood at 83.
It also said the Baling district health department informed the laksa stall owner about the test results yesterday.
On Oct 6, the Gerik Hospital notified the ministry of two cases of food poisoning with one death.
Subsequent investigations found seven more cases from one family whose members suffered from fever, diarrhoea and vomiting, said Kedah Health director Datuk Dr Norhizan Ismail.
The ministry advised those with symptoms of food poisoning to seek immediate medical treatment at the nearest health facility.
It advised the public to always observe food hygiene by selecting clean food outlets and to see, smell and sample any food to ensure that it is safe for consumption.