The owner of Banh Mi Phuong, a well-known bakery in Hoi An, a tourist city in Quang Nam Province, issued a public apology following a mass food poisoning incident which began early last week and involved 141 victims as of Thursday last week.
Truong Thi Phuong, the owner of the bakery, made the apology on her personal Facebook account as well as the on the bakery’s fan page.
She wrote that the incident has affected the health, spirit, lives of customers.
“We had shortcomings in controlling input materials as well as ensuring the quality [of products] before providing them to customers.”
The bakery has been working with competent agencies and is waiting for test results of its food samples in order to identify the cause of the incident. It has also been adopting solutions to ease the consequences of the incident.
Phuong also shared that representatives of the bakery have visited and spoken with victims who were admitted to local hospitals.
The bakery will continue acknowledging customers’ reports relating to the case, Phuong wrote.
Phuong shared that Banh Mi Phuong has spent the past 34 years working hard to provide banh mi to customers and will try to supply the best and safest banh mi once it reopens.
She also apologized for disappointing the bakery’s customers and fan base.
All victims of the incident have been released from hospitals, director of the Quang Nam Department of Health Mai Van Muoi said on Thursday.
The testing results of samples sent to the Nha Trang Pasteur Institute in south-central Khanh Hoa Province will either be released on Thursday afternoon or Friday morning, Muoi added.
|A view of Banh Mi Phuong. Photo: Truong Trung / Tuoi Tre|
Banh mi, a type of Vietnamese baguette typically filled with cold meats, pâté, and vegetables, is a popular dish in Vietnam.
Banh Mi Phuong, one of the most popular banh mi stalls in the country, has been featured on both local and international tourism forums.
Despite its fame, 141 people, including 34 foreigners, presented at hospitals as of Thursday last week with fevers, vomiting, stomachaches, and diarrhea a few hours after eating banh mi at Banh Mi Phuong.
An investigation by the Sub-Department of Food Safety and Hygiene under the Quang Nam Department of Health revealed that the bakery used some 10 ingredients with most of them, such as bread, vegetables, cucumber, cha heo (Vietnamese pork sausage), and fresh egg sauce, sourced from establishments in a traditional wet market in Hoi An.
Banh Mi Phuong makes only its pâté in-house.
At the time of the investigation, the bakery was only able to provide contracts from only three of its suppliers.
It has no contracts with other suppliers and failed to show documents on the food safety of its ingredient suppliers, according to the Sub-Department of Food Safety and Hygiene.
Authorities in Hoi An City suspended the bakery’s operations pending an investigation into the food poisoning incident.