Thursday, April 27, 2006

Noodles Down 86 People In South RP

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (Ben Balce / 27 Apr) Authorities were investigating a suspected food poisoing in the southern Philippines where at least 86 people fell ill after eating noodles, officials said Thursday.

Officials said most of the victims were mall workers in Cagayan de Oro City who all ate noodles for lunch on Tuesday. "There is an ongoing investigation to know exactly what caused the food poisonining," a police investigator told the Zamboanga Journal on Thursday.

The victims were rushed to the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) and Sabal Hospital after they complained of chest pains and difficulty in breathing and may were vomiting, local health officials said.

Officials said a team from the Department of Health's Regional Surveillance Team and the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) was formed to investigate the cause of the mass poisoning.

Evelyn Clarete, NMMC chief, said the team is composed of doctors and experts on the scientific study of poisons. She said they have taken blood and urine samples from the victims and conducted a series of laboratory tests.

She said they would also ask the National Bureau of Investigation to help in the probe. “We would also request the NBI doctors to be included on the said team as to investigate and look into who’s really responsible on this incident,” Clarete said.

It was not immediately known if the food was contaminated, but the workers bought the food from their canteens. She said 53 of those rushed to hospitals were women.

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