LEGAZPI CITY: The Department of Health (DOH) in Bicol will conduct a thorough examination of the pansit palabok bought at a store in Barangay Calsada in Ligao City that poisoned 46 people in Albay on Monday.
Nathaniel Rempillo, Albay provincial health officer, said that 46 people were downed after eating pancit palabok in a birthday party. He added that the said dish could have been contaminated with bacteria.
Dr. Wynns Samar, Ligao City health officer, said they visited the store where the palabok was bought and found out that the place was a bit unclean.
Following the incident, the city health office ordered the closure of the store owned by Cecelia Pantoja.
Though, Pantoja said that she is willing to face responsibility for the incident but doubted that her noodle dish caused the poisoning of 46 persons.
Pantoja has been selling palabok for five years in Ligao City and the incident reported on Monday is the first complaint that she received.
Based on initial laboratory findings, Samar said all the victims fell ill after eating “pansit palabok” bought at the AC takeout store of Pantoja.
All the victims complained of severe stomach ache, loose bowel movement, and nausea, an indication of food poisoning.
The 46 people partook of the pansit palabok served by Lita Cecelia to celebrate the birthday of her husband, who is overseas.
However, the merrymaking turned unhappy when she and her two children, along with numerous people were rushed to the hospital after they fell ill.
Currently, there are still 18 patients recuperating and undergoing laboratory examination at the Josefina Belmonte Memorial District Hospital (JBMDH) while four others were admitted at the Garcia Hospital in Ligao City.
The other victims were brought to a hospital in Oas and the Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital (BRTTH).
Ligao City Mayor Patricia Gonzalez-Alsua ordered the city health office to investigate the incident and implement measures to prevent the incident from happening again.
The city health office of Ligao submitted specimens to the DOH for thorough laboratory check. The results of the examination on the food sample will be released in few days or a week’s time.