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Taipei city fines restaurant following deadly food poisoning outbreak

03/29/2024 08:36 PM
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Taipei Mayor Chiang Wan-an (left) and city officials attend a press briefing on the latest developments of the food poisoning outbreak in the city on Friday. CNA photo March 29, 2024
Taipei Mayor Chiang Wan-an (left) and city officials attend a press briefing on the latest developments of the food poisoning outbreak in the city on Friday. CNA photo March 29, 2024

Taipei, March 29 (CNA) The company that runs the Malaysian restaurant chain Polam Kopitiam implicated in a fatal food poisoning outbreak in Taipei, has been fined NT$2.5 million (US$78,200) for inadequate risk control and management operations, the Taipei City government said Friday.

Polam International Co., Ltd., whose branch store in Xinyi District was the source of the food poisoning outbreak in recent days, failed to purchase product liability insurance and provide correct information about business premises, according to the city Department of Health.

The company was fined NT$2.5 million for violating the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation, the department said, adding that an investigation into the restaurant's use of sauce and starch products, which it called as high-risk food ingredients, is ongoing.

As of 5:30 p.m. on Friday, 21 people had reportedly fallen ill after eating at the Xinyi branch of Polam Kopitiam, according to the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

Most of those said they had eaten kway teow -- a Malaysian stir-fried rice noodle dish that contains egg -- at the restaurant between March 19 and 24, the ministry reported.

Among the 18 individuals who sought medical attention, five are in critical condition, one has been transferred to a regular ward, and 10 have been discharged, the MOHW said, adding that two others died on March 24 and 27.

Meanwhile, forensic examinations of the deceased found the presence of Bongkrekic acid -- a deadly toxin.

According to the city government, the food poisoning victims and their families are covered by the insurance policy purchased by Far Eastern Department Stores Co. Ltd, which hosts the Polam Kopitiam branch.

(By Chen Yu-hsuan and Lee Hsin-Yin)

Enditem/AW

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