Parliament’s food found to contain high levels of histamine

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.


Five suffer from food poisoning in parliament

One MP and four parliament employees have been taken to hospital after suffering from food poisoning.

Member of Parliament for Hithadhoo-Medhu constituency Mohamed Rasheed had to be removed from the chamber on Wednesday (November 14) after feeling faint.

A female Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) security officer at the parliament was also taken to hospital.

Speaker of Parliament Abdullah Shahid said that the issue will be thoroughly investigated in cooperation with Maldives Food and Drug Authority, police and MNDF.

“The parliament takes issues related to MP’s security and safety very seriously,” he told Sun Online.

Following the food poisoning incident the parliament general committee held an emergency meeting upon the Speaker’s request.


Over 60 resort workers on Randheli island rushed to hospital with severe food poisoning

Over 60 people working on construction of a resort on Randheli island have been rushed to hospital today after suffering from severe food poisoning.

According to an official from Noonu Atoll Regional Hospital on Manadhoo island, the resort workers currently receiving treatment at the hospital today mostly included expatriate workers from Bangladesh and India.  A few Maldivians were also said to be admitted, according to the hospital source.

The official said that they started receiving the sick resort workers with food poisoning at around 2pm.  A few workers were taken to health centres on nearby islands as the hospital was overwhelmed by the sudden surge of patients.

Extra beds and blankets were provided in order to hospitalise the sick resort workers after the 18-bed site found itself at maximum capacity, the hospital source added.

“All of them were diagnosed with food poisoning. They were vomiting, having severe headache and stomach pain and some were suffering loose motions as well,” the official explained.

It is unknown how the resort workers came down with food poisoning.  The resort, according to local media reports, is being developed for Louis Vuitton Moet et Chandon Hennessey (LVMH). The resort developer was not responding to calls from Minivan News at the time of press.

The hospital official said; “some patients are saying they got sick after eating a fish, possibly rotten.”

He added that none of the resort workers are now in serious condition, but were being kept under observation.

In a statement, the Maldives Police Service said it had assisted with transporting the affected workers to hospital for treatment.


Hudhuranfushi unaware of alleged food poisoning incident

Director of Adhaaran company that operates Hudhuranfushi resort, Mohamed Mahdy, has said he was unaware of allegations that a tourist couples’ ‘dream holiday’ was ruined by ‘food poisoning’ in March 2008.

The Liverpool Daily Post reported that the holiday of a couple that went to Hudhuranfushi to celebrate the husband’s 50th birthday was ”ruined by food poisoning.”

The paper reported that the couple were now suing their tour operator Thomson.

It quoted the husband as saying “We were served undercooked food, as well as food that was recycled and served up two days running. The pool and the toilets were filthy. We were so excited about the holiday. But, instead of enjoying it, I spent most of our time being violently ill.”

Mrs Wears was so ill with severe diarrhea that a doctor had to be flown in from another resort to treat her, said Liverpool Daily Post.

”I am very sure that such an incident did not take place in the hotel in March,” Mahdy said. ”I really do not think that is true.”

He said that customers sometimes complained about issues, “but there was no major issue like that.”

Liverpool Daily Post reported a Thomson spokeswoman as saying that “Thomson can confirm that five customers reported illness while staying at the Hudhuranfushi Island Resort, Maldives, in March, 2008. We are currently in talks with the no win, no fee law firm that is representing these customers.

“Hudhuranfushi Island Resort continues to be extremely popular with our customers, and we are confident that guests due to travel to the resort in the future will experience the high levels of quality and standards they expect from a Thomson property,” said the spokeswoman, according to Liverpool Daily Post.