CHC: Food poisoning an isolated incident


A reported food poisoning incident involving the consumption of a marlin is an isolated case that is no cause of alarm to the community, according to Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. public information officer Sami Birmingham-Babauta.

It was reported that several people suffered from food poisoning after consuming a marlin that was bought from one of the participants in last weekend’s Saipan International Fishing Tournament.

Birmingham-Babauta said the preparation of the food could have caused the person to be sick. “This could be an incident where a fish was stored, prepped, and or cooked poorly that resulted in someone getting ill.”

“If there was a food-borne illness [i.e. food poisoning], we would see a cluster of cases with [its] symptoms. However, our epidemiologist is not seeing that in his tracking. There is not enough information nor urgency for CHCC to provide comment.”

It is not yet known if the person or persons were admitted or not at the hospital but were treated at the hospital’s emergency room.

Birmingham-Babauta said that CHCC would release any report to the community in case of an outbreak or any food-borne illnesses. “If we notice a trend or spot on outbreak, we will reach out.”

“CHCC will only report on potential community health hazards. Like if one restaurant was serving bad food and many people got sick,” she added.

The Bureau of Environmental Health, one of the offices under CHCC’s Division of Public Health Services, usually releases advisories to inform the public of possible health risks on hazardous and unsanitary conditions.

They had closed and issued fines to establishments that have been found in violation of local and federal health and safety laws.

BEH has also issued a warning that mobile food vendors need to have the proper documentation to operate a said business and should follow proper food handling guidelines to ensure the quality of their products and the safety of their customers.

The CNMI, so far, has also not been affected by several recalls made by some food companies on their products in the mainland.

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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