Food stall suspended, NUS orders audit after 5 students develop symptoms of gastroenteritis in the second case this month, Singapore News & Top Stories



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The National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) are investigating after five students at Park House in Prince George, a student residence, developed symptoms of gastroenteritis.

This incident, which occurred on April 12, is the second of this month.

On April 4, 22 students at Ridge View Residential College, another NUS student residence, had similar symptoms.

A NUS spokeswoman said on Wednesday (April 17) that the university conducted preliminary tests after being told about the latest outbreak on Monday.

It turned out that these students had eaten food from a tent in the air-conditioned canteen of Prince George's Park Residence. Some also consumed food at off-campus locations before getting sick.

The university staff subsequently inspected all the tents in the canteen on Monday and suspended the food stall from which the students had eaten food for a week awaiting further investigation.

As a precaution, all the tents in the canteen were also instructed to close early that day so that a complete cleaning of the premises could be carried out.

The spokesman added that NUS has a serious view of food security and is monitoring the situation closely.

He said that regular hygiene audits are held for all dining facilities serving NUS's campus accommodations as well as food and beverage outlets on the Kent Ridge and Bukit Timah campuses.

In addition, on Wednesday, NUS began an independent audit of these dining areas, which is expected to be completed within a month.

An SFA spokesman said that as of noon on Wednesday, the five affected students recovered. None of them were hospitalized.

He added that gastroenteritis, which causes diarrhea or vomiting, can be caused by viruses, bacteria or bacterial toxins.

People may develop gastroenteritis by eating or drinking contaminated food or by having direct contact with someone who is infected.

Individuals who touch contaminated surfaces and then put their dirty hands in their mouth can also get sick with it.

The spokesman said it is important for affected people to rehydrate themselves by drinking plenty of fluids and seeking medical attention if necessary.

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