Pek Kio Market and Food Centre to close for 2 days after spate of gastric flu cases

This article is more than 12 months old

Pek Kio Market and Food Centre will be closed for two days after more than 180 patients with gastroenteritis were reported in the area.

The market, located along Owen Road near Farrer Park, will be closed for two days for "a thorough cleaning and disinfection" from Wednesday (May 25), said a joint press release by the Ministry of Health (MOH), National Environment Agency (NEA), Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) and national water agency, PUB on Tuesday (May 24).

Just last month, the authorities also had to suspend the licence of Goodwood Park Hotel's bakery after a spate of food poisoning cases involving 183 people. It has since been cleared to re-open.

The decision to close Pek Kio market was made after MOH was alerted by a doctor in a clinic in the area who noticed a spike in the number of patients with gastroenteritis, or more commonly known as gastric flu, between May 16 and 19.

Further investigations found that there were more than 180 patients who sought medical treatment at other clinics in the area for symptoms such as diarrhoea, vomiting, fever and abdominal pain during the past week.

While patients were able to recover within a few days, seven patients have been warded at Tan Tock Seng Hospital for observation although they are said to be recovering well.

A joint investigation by NEA, MOH, AVA and PUB on May 19 discovered that most of the patients stayed near or have visited the Owen road area and the market

However the investigations were unable to pinpoint the exact source of the outbreak to a particular food stall.

During the closure, stallholders and cleaners from Tanjong Pagar Town Council's cleaning contractor will thoroughly clean the market.

This involves disinfecting all dining tables, chairs food preparations surfaces, walls and floors.

NEA will also issue reminders to stall owners to maintain high standards of hygiene.

The market will re-open on Friday (May 27).

MOH and NEA would like to remind the public to seek medical attention if they experience any gastroenteritis symptoms.

For health-related queries, the public can contact MOH on 1800-2254 122.

For feedback on any hygiene lapses, call NEA's 24-hour hotline on 1800-2255 632.

Food & DrinkhawkerEnvironmentMinistry of HealthGASTROENTERITIS