Gastrointestinal pathogens were found in most of the samples taken from Banh Mi Phuong, a bakery in Hoi An where over 140 victims suffered from food poisoning last week, according to the test results.
The Nha Trang Pasteur Institute has sent the Quang Nam Department of Health the test results of 12 ingredient samples taken from Banh Mi Phuong, a famous banh mi stall in Hoi An, a famous tourism hub in the province.
Banh mi is a Vietnamese baguette typically filled with cold meats, pâté, and vegetables, the provincial Department of Health told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Thursday.
Bacillus cereus, a spore forming bacterium producing toxins that cause vomiting and diarrhea, was detected in the stall’s pork bologna and Vietnamese meatballs.
Meanwhile, Salmonella spp, a pathogen responsible for severe foodborne infections, was found in barbecue pork and Vietnamese meatballs, Mai Van Muoi, director of the department, said.
The stall’s cucumber, lettuce, spring onion, and Vietnamese coriander were found to be contaminated with both bacteria.
In addition, a stool sample taken from a 71-year-old foreign woman tested positive for Salmonella group D, another gastrointestinal pathogen.
The food poisoning incident began on Monday last week when a total of 141 victims, including 34 foreigners, presented with symptoms at different hospitals in Quang Nam and neighboring Da Nang City, Muoi said.
All of the victims had been discharged by Thursday, he added.
The Hoi An administration suspended Banh Mi Phuong’s operations immediately following the incident for investigation.
The bakery sold a total of 3,620 banh mi sandwiches on Monday and Tuesday last week before its operations were suspended, the Hoi An Health Center reported, adding that all 10 of the bakery’s ingredients were sourced from different providers.
According to Voice of Vietnam, Banh Mi Phuong failed to comply with food safety and hygiene regulations specified by the Sub-Department of Food Safety and Hygiene under the provincial Department of Health.
Banh Mi Phuong has posted a letter of apology to its customer on the establishment’s Facebook fanpage, as well as on the own Facebook page of the bakery’s owner.