Histamine levels in the chili fish served for parliament members last week were over eight times the normal amount, the Maldives Food and Drug Authority (FDA) have revealed.
The fish were served for breakfast before an MP, some parliament employees and military personnel were taken ill with food poisoning.
During the sub-general committee meeting probing the food poisoning, Director General of the FDA Shareefa Adam Manik explained that histamine is detected in rotten fish.
“Based on the information we have received, it looks like histamine poisoning. We think the fish is the contributor,” she said.
As of last night It has not yet been determined whether the market or the caterers were responsible for the rotten fish used in the dish, Shareefa said.
The histamine level recorded in the dish was measured at 1,774.8, whereas the normal amount should be under 200. Shareefa added: “we haven’t detected such a level of histamine in the recent past.”
FDA revealed that more tests still need to be done and the results would not be ready before Monday.
It was explained by FDA that histamine is a poison created within the fish tissue after it is caught. To avoid this, fish must be stored at a temperature of five degrees Celsius as anything higher can trigger the growth of micro organisms and lead to histamine in the fish.
Caterer South Beach’s Managing Director Mohamed Thaufeeg told Haveeru Online that the fish is bought from the market on a daily basis, sufficient for the meals catered to the parliament.
Thaufeeg added that no issues were noted with the fish from the local market yesterday, however he raised concern over the quality of fish sold in the market.
The police revealed that the complaint had been lodged with them as an “intentional” attempt to poison the MPs.
Inspector of Police Mohamed Dawood confirmed that no arrests had been made, but four parties have been questioned over the case.