Spize at River Valley has been closed down by the authorities in Singapore for good.

This was after salmonella bacteria was found in both raw and ready-to-eat food at the Spize outlet.

The presence of salmonella has been identified as the cause of a mass food poisoning incident that left 82 people ill and caused 47 to be hospitalised.

One person has died.

The announcement to close down the eatery was made on Dec. 7.

Salmonella in food

Salmonella was found in samples of belacan egg fried rice, sambal belacan, raw chicken samples, kangkong and uncooked rice.

Salmonella was also found on the door handle of a cold room.

These details were revealed by the Ministry of Health (MOH), National Environment Agency (NEA) and the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) at a joint media briefing.

Operating license terminated

The operating licence of Spize River Valley will be terminated with immediate effect.

Action will also be taken against the licensee for the hygiene lapses.

Investigations found that the outbreak of salmonella gastroenteritis was “unusually severe”.

This suggested that the food was likely to be heavily contaminated.

The other Spize restaurants at Bedok and Rifle Range Road have been allowed to continue operations.

No evidence to link the salmonella outbreak to these outlets were found by NEA.

What happened

A total of 82 people who had eaten food from the Spize River Valley outlet between Nov. 6 and 9 went down with food poisoning.

Of which, 47 people were hospitalised and one person died.

An auxiliary police officer with ground-handling firm SATS, was one of those hospitalised after consuming food catered by the restaurant.

He died on Nov. 14.

His death is classified as a coroner’s case and the cause of death is pending.

Severe lapses

The outlet was suspended on Nov. 7.

This was after the authorities found several hygiene lapses.

This included leaving ready-to-eat food uncovered in a chiller, not providing soap for hand-washing (the soap dispenser was faulty) and slotting knives for preparing ready-to-eat food in a gap between food preparation tables.

On the same day, the authorities conducted a second joint inspection of the restaurant.

This was where they discovered “severe irregularities”.

Seven unregistered food handlers were identified, food had been prepared outside the licensed kitchen area and food handlers had “poor personal hygiene and food preparation practices”.