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Hundreds fall ill in mass food poisoning in Purwakarta

Jakarta Post - November 22, 2023

Jakarta – The West Java administration is investigating a case of mass food poisoning in Purwakarta regency in which at least 227 people fell ill.

Large numbers of people were reportedly vomiting on Friday after consuming meal boxes distributed at Al Hidayah mosque in Pusakamulya village during a regular program called Jumat Berkah (blessed Friday). Each of the meal boxes included rice, a spiced egg and fried noodles.

"From a lab test, it was found that the meal contained nitrite, a dangerous chemical substance," said Purwakarta Health Agency head Deni Darmawan. He said the substance, which was found in the noodle samples, could cause stomach aches, diarrhea, dehydration and dizziness.

The West Java administration said that as of Tuesday, 195 people had suffered from minor food poisoning symptoms and 32 from severe symptoms. The incident had not caused any deaths, and all of the victims had received treatment at public health centers.

The police are investigating the case further.

Supena, a caretaker of the mosque, said it had run the food distribution program for two years and that this was the first time any food poisoning had occurred.

He said nearby residents had always contributed to the charity program. However, for the distribution in question, they had only cooked the rice, while the side dishes had come from downtown Purwakarta.

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/indonesia/2023/11/22/hundreds-fall-ill-in-mass-food-poisoning-in-purwakarta.htm