350 SICK AF­TER FREE LUNCH

Vil­lagers served fish stew at tem­ple

New Straits Times - - World -

AFREE lunch for vil­lagers in south­ern Myan­mar turned sour af­ter it landed more than a third of the ru­ral com­mu­nity in hospi­tal with food poi­son­ing, lo­cal of­fi­cials said yes­ter­day.

Hun­dreds of vil­lagers from Eain Ta Lone, west of the cap­i­tal here, fell ill af­ter eat­ing fish stew served at a Bud­dhist cer­e­mony to cel­e­brate the or­di­na­tion of lo­cal novices.

The en­tire 1,000-per­son vil­lage was bun­dled over to the near­est hospi­tal, where 367 were ad­mit­ted for treat­ment, said char­ity worker Wai Lin Aung, who helped to trans­port the vil­lagers.

Many were vom­it­ing and some de­scribed aches and pains all over their body, he added.

“They felt like that af­ter eat­ing stewed hilsa (type of fish) and cas­sia soup.”

The sick re­turned home later on Thurs­day and were re­cov­er­ing, Myaung Mya town­ship chief ad­min­is­tra­tor Aung Kyaw Zaya said. “They are all back in the vil­lage now.

“We are monitoring the whole vil­lage to see if there are any other health prob­lems.”

Myan­mar has a poor food safety record and vis­i­tors to the coun­try of­ten com­plain of food poi­son­ing.

Tests of street food here re­port­edly found around a third of it con­tained stom­ach-churn­ing bac­te­ria.

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