The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) disclosed on Thursday that the durian candies behind the food poison-ing incidence in Region XIII or the Caraga Administrative Region were contaminated with staphylococcus bacte-ria.
Health officials also aim to trace the source and place where the candies were manufactured.
“It was seen in the laboratory tests that “staphyloccocus bacteria” was present and matched in the symptoms manifested by patients such as vomiting, stomach ache,” said Dr. Ma. Lourdes Santiago, acting deputy director general of FDA in a press briefing held at the DOH media relations unit.
Santiago said that staphyloccus is a type of bacteria that is linked to food poisoning because it is found in human skin and hair, especially if there is an open wound like pimples.
She said there was mishandling during the production process, either in the preparation or in the supply chain.
The health officials sought the assistance of the police in the on-going investigation of the issue.
Santiago further said that part of the investigation focused on tracing the source and place where the candies were manufactured.
Meanwhile, 15 students of the Sultan Kudarat State University annex campus in Lutayan town were hospitalised after eating a rice meal.
Dr. Alah Baby Vingno, South Cotabato assistant provincial health officer, said Thursday the students were admit-ted late Wednesday afternoon at the South Cotabato provincial hospital in Koronadal City due to food poisoning symptoms specifically severe abdominal, vomiting and loose bowel movement.
The students reportedly started to fell ill several hours after eating “pastil,” a rice meal with chicken bits that is wrapped in banana leaves, she said.
They all bought the possibly contaminated rice meal that was reportedly sold by one of the students at their school campus.
They will send specimens taken from the victims to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Muntinlupa City for laboratory analysis, said Vingno.