One child, two senior citizens in hospital after Hanukkah event at Mandarin Orchard Hotel
At least two senior citizens and a child have been hospitalised after falling sick from the Hanukkah event at the Grand Ballroom of Mandarin Orchard Hotel on Sunday evening, other attendees told The New Paper yesterday.
The ballroom has been closed and its banquet kitchen suspended as the health authorities investigate cases of gastroenteritis that occurred in four separate events there recently.
An attendee, who wanted to be known only as David, 37, said the Hanukkah event has been held at the Mandarin Orchard Hotel annually for many years, and this is the first time such an incident has occurred.
"There were roughly 500 people who attended. I became deathly ill on Monday night, about 24 hours after the event," he said. "The physician I visited said food poisoning was the likely culprit."
He added that a few dozen people at the event had also fallen ill, including schoolchildren and two senior citizens, who needed to be hospitalised.
"The proximity of these food poisoning cases to the ones in an incident TNP reported (a lunch wedding banquet on the same day) is uncanny," David added.
"In fact, I would say that this cannot be coincidence."
Another attendee, who wanted to be known only as Susan, 30, said she knew of a child and an adult who needed hospitalisation.
She said: "In my circle of friends alone, more than 40 people were affected, and I am sure there are many others."
When TNP contacted the Jewish Welfare Board, which organised the event, a spokesman said it was aware of the incident and is working with the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority.
At the lunch wedding banquet, which took place in the same ballroom hours before the Hanukkah event, dozens of people also fell ill.
Mr Jeffrey Sivalingam, 61, the father of the bride, told TNP an eight-course meal had been catered for more than 400 guests.
Several of them, including children, later had diarrhoea, vomiting and fever, and some had to be hospitalised.