Nineteen more people were hospitalized following the food poisoning and subsequent death of a six-year-old girl who ate cream puffs taken from a Mid-Autumn Festival at an apartment complex in Ho Chi Minh City last week.
By Tuesday afternoon, 48 people had complained of digestive disorders and 19 had visited hospitals after eating cream puffs at the Mid-Autumn Festival last Friday at the Palm Heights apartment complex in Thu Duc City, an administrative district of Ho Chi Minh City, Pham Khanh Phong Lan, head of the municipal Food Safety Management Board, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
Among the patients hospitalized on Tuesday with symptoms of food poisoning were three family members of P.N.Q., the six-year-old girl who died late Sunday evening after eating cream puffs taken from the event by her mother, a service worker at Palm Heights, Lan said.
The cream puffs at the event were produced by Givral, a well-known local bakery.
An inspection team from the management board has been coordinating with local police to inspect Givral’s cream puff production facilities in Binh Thanh and Tan Phu Districts.
So far, the inspection team has concluded that both production facilities have food safety certificates and other documentation required to operate, Lan said.
“The team has taken samples of cream puffs and materials for testing, and the results will be available in a few days,” she added.
The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health on Tuesday evening said that it has assigned a team of specialists to investigate the incident.
The agency also convened an emergency meeting of experts on Wednesday morning to discuss ways to identify the cause of the fatal incident.
According to the latest report from the Thu Duc City Health Department, the apartment complex received 210 Givral cream puffs from the owner of a coffee shop at Palm Heights.
Among the Palm Heights service workers gifted with cream puffs at the festival was Q.’s mother, Phan Thi Ut, originally from southern Ca Mau Province.
Ut took five cream puffs home and stored them outside of the refrigerator.
The next morning, Ut and her two children, including Q., ate the cream puffs and, a few hours later, began suffering from vomiting and diarrhea.
The family visited a local clinic on Saturday and were given medicine, but their condition did not improve. They then visited Le Van Thinh Hospital in Thu Duc on Sunday afternoon, and were given different medicines for treatment at home.
Q.’s health continued to decline and she was brought back to the hospital at 11:00 pm that evening. By that point, the girl had already fallen into a coma.
Doctors immediately put her under cardiopulmonary resuscitation but she succumbed to her sickness and passed away, according to Dr. Tran Van Khanh, director of the hospital.
Speaking to Tuoi Tre on Tuesday afternoon, Ut said she, her son, and her younger brother in-law had returned to Ca Mau and visited the provincial general hospital for examination due to ongoing sickness from the incident.
“I have yet to recover completely after eating the cake. I still suffer from stomach pain, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, and frequent bowel movements,” Ut said.