Two customers of a famous laksa stall in Kedah have died from food poisoning, confirmed the Health Ministry today, 9 October
Bernama reported Kedah Health director Datuk Dr. Norhizan Ismail as saying that 10 cases of food poisoning have been reported in the state, while nine cases, including the two deaths, were reported in Perak.
Victims have suffered from diarrhoea, vomiting, and fever.
According to Sinar Harian, the deceased victims include a 28-year-old disabled man from Kedah and a 70-year-old woman from Perak.
The famous 'Laksa Kebok' stall, as reported by China Press, is located at Kampung Seri Landak in Kupang, Kedah.
Norhizan then detailed the food poisoning cases that involved people from Kedah and Perak
Seven cases of food poisoning, involving a family of five, were first reported to the Ministry on Saturday, 6 October, by Gerik Hospital.
"They (victims) were reported to have eaten the laksa at 9.30pm on 4 October. It was bought by the father of the victim who died from a stall in Kupang, Baling, at 5.30pm on the same day," Norhizan said.
On 7 October, another two food poisoning victims were admitted to Gerik Hospital as well after eating laksa from the stall the day before. They had purchased the laksa on 4 October.
One of them, a 70-year-old woman from Perak, has since passed away after being referred to Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital in Ipoh.
10 other cases of food poisoning have also been reported by the Baling district Health Office, and the victims are currently being treated at Baling Hospital.
Family members of the deceased victims revealed their experiences with the laksa stall as well
Abdul Manan Abdul Hamid, the father of the deceased 28-year-old Abdul Rahim Abdul Manan, told Sinar Harian that his son used to love the laksa stall involved in the food poisoning cases.
"I bought three packs of laksa from the stall for my family... but we began experiencing unusual diarrhoea (after eating)," Abdul Manan said.
He added that three of his family members, including Abdul Rahim, were admitted into Gerik Hospital the next day. Abdul Rahim then succumbed to his condition and passed away on the same day.
Sinar Harian also reported the daughter of the 70-year-old victim as saying that she did not expect to lose her mother to laksa.
46-year-old Norliza Shaari revealed that her mother experienced diarrhoea and vomiting on 6 October after having laksa the night before.
"Beginning 1am on Saturday (6 October), my mother and I began having stomach aches, diarrhoea, and vomiting," she told Sinar Harian.
Norliza said her mother passed away on 7 October after being transferred to Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital in Ipoh from Gerik Hospital.
Meanwhile, 51-year-old laksa stall owner Daud Ismail maintains his innocence
Daud, who had been operating the 'Laksa Kebok' stall since 2003, stressed that his additive-free noodles are made daily.
"If it's poisoned, my family and I will be the first ones to die," Daud told Berita Harian earlier today.
China Press reported him as saying that his family of eight eats laksa on a daily basis.
"Even my 11-month-old grandchild eats it as well, none of my family members had food poisoning within the last month," he added.
The Ministry has urged those with symptoms of food poisoning after eating at the stall to seek medical treatment immediately
The stall has been ordered to close temporarily while investigations by the Kedah and Perak Health Departments are ongoing. Clinical and food samples from the stall have also been taken for laboratory tests.
"The public need not worry as the incident is under control. People are advised to always observe good food hygiene by choosing clean food outlets and ensuring food is fit for consumption before tucking in," Norhizan said.