23 M’sian athletes from four sports down with food poisoning

KUALA LUMPUR: The exact number of Malaysian athletes down with food poisoning is 23, and not 19 as reported earlier.

Malaysian SEA Games Organising Committee (Masoc) chief operating officer Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong confirmed the figure at a press conference in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

The athletes affected were from four sports – swimming, petanque, tennis and gymnastics.

The Malaysian SEA Games contingent is staying at the Renaissance Hotel in the city centre.

Zolkples said that “the relevant authorities are investigating the incident and monitoring the food served to the athletes”.

“Health Ministry officials are also looking into the cause of the food poisoning,” he said.

Zolkples said he has briefed all the chefs de mission about the incident and to ensure that no other country is affected.

“As far as we know, this is confined to the hotel where the Malaysian athletes are staying.

“The athletes’ well-being is our priority,” he said.

Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) secretary-general Datuk Low Beng Choo said the authorities are looking into the possibility that the athletes might have consumed food bought outside the hotel.

“But it’s not only our Malaysian athletes who are buying food from outside, athletes from other countries are doing it too.

“All necessary precautions are being taken to ensure that this incident does not recur,” she said.

The hotel’s director of Marcom and PR, Song Mei Lan, said they would fully cooperate with the relevant authorities to find the cause of the poisoning.

“The hotel is fully cooperating with the organisers and all relevant authorities. The safety and well-being of our guests are of paramount importance.

“We will continue our vigilance in ensuring all our food and beverage adhere to the strict safety standards in cooperation with the guidelines from Kuala Lumpur City Hall and Health Ministry,” she said.

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