MUAR: The number of students who fell ill after enjoying a seafood feast at the Muar Vocational College has risen to 125 people.
It was learnt that the students were enjoying a seafood 'shellout-style’ meal as part of a year-end celebration shortly before they succumbed to food poisoning.
Their meal, consisting of mussels, prawn and crab was prepared at the hostel's kitchen. The health authorities have ordered for the hostel kitchen to be closed for three days.
State Health, Environment, Education and Information Committee chairman Datuk Ayub Rahmat said a total of 125 students were sick and showed symptoms of food poisoning.
He said 30 of the students sought treatment at the Sultanah Fatimah Specialist Hospital. Another 30 students were treated at the Maharani Health Clinic, while 39 others were treated at the college by staff from the district health office.
The remaining 26 students received treatment in stages until 2pm yesterday.
“Initial investigation showed that a total of 380 students and teachers may have been exposed (to the food).
“The symptoms showed by the students include stomach ache, diarrhoea, stomach cramps and headache.
“The students began exhibiting the symptoms about 3.30pm on Sunday,” said Ayub.
He said initial checks showed that the source of the food poisoning may have been the seafood, especially the mussels.
“Initial checks showed that three of the kitchen staff have not undergone any food handling courses. Samples have been taken from the food and water.
“Swabs samples were also taken from the food handlers and kitchen equipment. The samples have been sent to the Johor Baru Public Health Laboratory for analysis today," said Ayub.
He said the hostel's kitchen has been ordered to be closed for three days until tomorrow under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988.