Muscat: More than 60 members of a wedding party took ill after consuming tainted food in a suspected incident of mass food poisoning reported in a village in the Rustaq district of north Oman on Tuesday.
The local Arabic daily, Oman, quoted the local Shura representative, Ali Bin Saeed Al Abri, as saying that the victims were moved to Rustaq Hospital, most of whom were discharged after initial treatment. Six however remained in hospital for further observation, he said.
The contaminated meal is believed to have been provided by a local bakery, which is now the subject of an investigation by the Health Ministry’s Communicable Diseases Control and Surveillance Department.
The suspected food poisoning case comes despite an unprecedented drive recently launched by an array of government agencies in support of food safety, public hygiene and consumer protection objectives.
Massive quantities of foodstuff found to be contaminated, improperly labelled or generally deemed unsafe for consumption have been confiscated and destroyed, with hundreds of establishments penalised in the process.
Earlier this week, the Council of Ministers gave its green light for the establishment of a National Food Quality and Safety Centre, as well as Central Food Laboratory, in an effort to ramp up the country’s food monitoring capabilities.