Spize Bento Victim Ate His Food 2 Hours After Recommended Time

Last November, Mr Mohamad Fadli Mohd Saleh, a 38-year-old auxiliary officer tragically passed away after consuming a bento box from popular eatery, Spize.

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An inquiry was launched shortly after the incident. On Thursday (15 Aug), the courts heard that Fadli had eaten the food at least 2 hours after the recommended period.

This could have contributed to his eventual demise.

Bento boxes were prepared in the morning

According to TODAY Online, the bento boxes were prepared at Spize’s River Valley outlet between 9.30am to 10.30am on 6 Nov.

Spize River Valley now permanently closed
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A police investigation officer, Senior Staff Sergeant (SSS) Raveen Kumar Praim Kumar, told the court that a deliveryman dropped off the bentos at Fadli’s security firm in Kaki Bukit at around 11.30am.

The deliveryman also reportedly told staff at the company that the bentos should be consumed by 12.30pm — an hour after the delivery.

SSS Raveen said the deliveryman ate from one of the bento boxes between 10.30am to 11.30am, but did not become sick.

Got a stomachache after consuming bento after 2 hours

However, SSS Raveen pointed out that Fadli and his team members only collected their food at around 2.53pm. This was more than 2 hours after the recommended consumption period.

Investigators remain uncertain of the type of bento box Fadli received, but it’s believed that he ate the packaged food some time between then and 4pm.

That evening, Fadli began having a stomachache and exhibited vomiting symptoms. He also suffered from a high fever of 39.9°C, body aches, and nausea.

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A day later, he fell unconscious. He was warded at Sengkang General Hospital till 14 Nov, when he suffered a cardiac arrest. Doctors declared him dead at around 7.20pm.

Late food consumption a possible factor in man’s demise

Fadli’s cause of death was eventually identified as sepsis and multiple organ failure originating from gastroenteritis.

He was also diagnosed with bacterial infection from salmonella — a bacteria found in raw meat.

Illustration of Salmonella bacteria
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An official from the Health Ministry was asked if Fadli’s late consumption of the food could have led to his demise.

The official reportedly said it it was “possible“, especially with the warm weather in Singapore. The way bento boxes were packed was also a “favourable” breeding ground for bacteria.

Bacteria can multiply at room temperature

According to a separate report in The Straits Times, consumers have a higher chance of getting food poisoning from catered meals as compared to freshly prepared food.

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That’s because catered meals are often left for a longer period in ambient temperature after being cooked. This gives bacteria more time to multiply and can cause food poisoning once it reaches “sufficient levels”.

Thus, food caterers in Singapore are required to “time-stamp” their meals which informs customers the time they should consume it by.

This timing is typically set at 4 hours after the dish is cooked.

Consume food within the recommended period

While Fadli’s passing is truly tragic, perhaps it could have been avoided if food was consumed within the recommended period.

Meanwhile, we hope this serves as a timely reminder for all Singaporeans to always consume their food within the recommended period to avoid falling sick.

Featured image adapted from SugarWifi