Probe ongoing for ‘food poisoning’ incident
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Local health officials and authorities are looking into the alleged food poisoning incident that downed several performers of a church-related event last Sunday, May 23, 2021.
Ramil Ayuman, head of the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CCDRRMO), said samples of the humba (braised pork dish) suspected to have caused 37 performers of the Pentecost Celebration to manifest symptoms of ‘food poisoning’ were sent for tests to the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7).
“Samples atong sud-an, katong humba, gipadala nato sa DOH Regional Surveillance Unit para ma tan-aw nila kung maoy hinungdan,” Ayuman told reporters in a press briefer on Monday, May 24.
(Samples of the humba were already sent to DOH Regional Surveillance Unit to check if the incident was due to consumption of the food.
The Archdiocese of Cebu, on Sunday, was celebrating the Pentecost held at the International Eucharistic Congress Convention Center (IC3).
The church’s Commission on Laity, through a written statement by its chairperson Fe Mantuhac-Barino, identified a total of 37 performers who showed signs of possible food poisoning.
“We are closely monitoring other participants from outside Cebu City. So far, we have not received more reports of people falling ill from the packed lunch,” said Mantuhac-Barino.
These ranged from upset stomach to frequent vomiting. Sixteen of them were immediately referred to the hospital after responders received the alert on Sunday afternoon.
Fortunately, as of Monday, all 37 patients have recovered when the hospital has discharged everyone, the Archdiocese of Cebu announced.
In the meantime, Barino said they will wait for official results of the investigation but they, too, suspected the incident was due to the consumption of humba.
“However, we are not discounting the possibility that the incident was really food poisoning from humba. We are waiting for the official results of the investigation,” she added.
Barino said the Charismatic Communities and the Archdiocese shouldered all expenses needed for the performers’ speedy recovery.
The Feast of the Pentecost at the IC3 was also part of the Charismatic Jubilee in celebration of 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines in which Archbishop Jose Palma presided over the Holy Mass.