Possible Salmonella Poisoning Sickened 158 Students in Malaysia: Food Poisoning Lawyer Says Chicken is a Common Cause

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A boarding school in Kuala Nerang, Malaysia reported more than 150 students became ill due to a foodborne illness, says national food poisoning lawyer Ron Simon.

Seven students at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Dato Syed Ahmad were admitted to the hospital; two have been discharged and are in stable condition, reports Bernama, the government’s news agency.

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Kedah state health director Ismail Abu Taat  reported the food poisoning was caused by Ayam Masak Merah (chicken in spicy tomato sauce) thought to be contaminated with Salmonella from improperly preserved chicken.  Chicken is commonly identified as the source of salmonella outbreaks both in the U.S. and abroad.  This is because, according to  health director Ismail Abu Taat, “salmonella bacteria is naturally present in chicken intestines, but the food handler had not cooked and stored the chicken properly, thus causing the bacteria to release high levels of toxin.”

“Earlier, pupils had complained that the Ayam Masak Merah had gone bad and was emanating an odor, but the food handlers ignored them and told them to just eat until the pupils started vomiting and having diarrhea.”

158 students reported symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting, 117 received outpatient treatment at the hospital before 110 were allowed to return to the school.

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