Single business blamed for gastro outbreak

There was only one culprit responsible for the outbreak of gastroenteritis on the south coast over the Christmas and New Year holiday, the Ministry of Health is reporting.

After confirming 35 cases of the stomach flu during the holiday period, with the latest being a single case on January 3, the ministry today said it had concluded its epidemiological investigation and had determined that it was a localized food-borne disease linked to an unnamed food establishment.

It also said in a statement that there was no evidence linking the outbreak to the ongoing sewage spill, which has plagued the south coast for nearly two years, and has forced the closure of at least two food enterprises.

“No other clusters of similar illness were reported from elsewhere in the area of the sewage spill. No organisms were identified through laboratory testing. Therefore, the outbreak has not been linked to any particular food or beverage, or the sewage spill,” the statement said.

The ministry did not say what action, if any, was taken against the business, or if it had been forced to take corrective action.

However, the Environmental Health Department said it had stepped up monitoring in the affected area to provide specific guidance to managers and staff of food establishments on safe food handling practices. Additionally, it has held two training sessions for operators and kitchen and restaurant staff to update them on food safety, cleaning and sanitizing, and vector control and pest management, the health department said.

While acknowledging the ongoing challenges, the Ministry of Health pledged “to continue to take all the necessary steps to reduce public health risks”.

The 35 confirmed cases did not include five suspected cases of British visitors whose holiday here ended in disaster after having dinner at a popular fine dining south coast restaurant.

Joanne Collins, the spokesperson for the group, said while they intended to return to Barbados, they would probably “not be eating at the south coast restaurant” unless the sewage problem is fixed.

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart yesterday told the business community a solution was under way with financial help from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

While he did not reveal how much it would cost to resolve the crisis, Stuart told the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry he was in possession of a final report following extensive testing and assessments carried out by experts since December last year, and that report would soon be sent to the IDB, which would then provide the necessary assistance.

“We are committed in the short-term to mitigation measures where possible, but when all is said and done, the country needs to be assured the Inter-American Development Bank is involved in this.
We have reports. The matter is being evaluated. There are experts in this area whose wisdom and insights we have to take seriously and therefore on whose wisdom and insights we rely . . . So the matter is receiving our daily attention,” the Prime Minister assured.

20 Responses to Single business blamed for gastro outbreak

  1. Carson C. Cadogan January 25, 2018 at 9:39 pm

    What is the name of the business??

    By not naming the business, it will put all the businesses in jeopardy in that area.

    Not being told the name of the business, patrons will boycott all.

    Just to be on the safe side.

    Not naming the business is not a good idea.

  2. Alex Alleyne January 25, 2018 at 9:49 pm

    US Embassy said that they found high levels of Bacteria in the tap water and issued caution.

  3. Bradg January 25, 2018 at 9:50 pm

    Well the Americans are warning their citizens about our drinking water.

    • Carson C. Cadogan January 25, 2018 at 10:40 pm

      Has the Americans tested the water in Fort Lauderdale???

      • Ernesta Catlyn January 26, 2018 at 8:55 am

        It does not matter Carson – if bacterial is in the water in Fort lauderdale it does not change the fact if there is bacteria in ours. What is wrong with you people? Your dog bigger than my dog, so I do not have a dog?

      • Rubin January 26, 2018 at 11:59 am

        Again, the juvenile response of deflecting. Fort Lauderdale is addressing the issue, not covering it up and dismissing concerns like what is being done in Barbados

  4. Saga Boy January 25, 2018 at 11:07 pm

    The Americans are hypocrites. They had sewage leaking into people’s houses in Florida after hurricane Irma last year. They had problems with sewage in other states like California as well. Maybe we in the rest of the world need to start issuing warnings as well.

    • hcalndre January 26, 2018 at 9:32 am

      Saga Boy/ Issuing warnings to who? they would only affect you that issued them, you think anyone would listen. I never believed the findings that the minister had given, anyone that knows about the testing of water would never had taken his word.

    • roger headley January 26, 2018 at 11:36 am

      But our diplomats should advise Barbadian living anywhere in the world of any threats to their potential health etc. That is an aspect of their job

  5. Buun January 26, 2018 at 1:04 am

    How can you trust the minister of health when he wont name the establishment to the public? Only bout here, we let this nonsense happen. Csn’t wait for USA or Canada Embassy to also warn their citizens about this establishment.. These guys are plsying with peoples lives.

  6. Dick Tracy January 26, 2018 at 1:04 am

    Were talking about the water in Barbados, not Fort Lauderdale. At least they’re appropriating the funds to correct the problem. What has the Stuart administration done about it’s water problem?

    Has the DLP (Barbadian Government) looked out for it’s citizens by putting out advisories for it’s citizens traveling to the states, or beyond?

    You would think since we depend on the tourist dollars that the water, roads, etc were safe not only for it’s tourist but for its citizens.

  7. luther thorne January 26, 2018 at 1:38 am

    Call the Elections
    Stop Punishing the People
    Call the Elections
    This is Cruelty to Animals.

    This along with the Sewage situation on the South Sums up the Sordid tenure of the DLP.
    Add the Downgrades and Travel Advisories and now the quality of our WATER questioned and we have witnessed the DESTRUCTION OF BARBADOS
    The Dems came back in 2008 to finish the job of Destruction they started in 1986 – 1994 , the worst period in Barbados since 1937.

    The Americans are to be commended
    I am boiling my water.
    Water System Destroyed
    Barbados reputation destroyed
    Sewage System Destroyed

    Economy Destroyed.
    Roads Destroyed
    Cars Suspensions Destroyed
    Transport Board Buses Destroyed

    Public Service Destroyed
    Small Business people Destroyed
    Hopes and Dreams Destroyed
    Barbados Demstroyed

    • hcalndre January 26, 2018 at 9:39 am

      @luther thorne; They are no longer the Democatic Labour Party? You have replaced it as the Demstroyed Party which is quite fitting.

  8. Mark Rosmar January 26, 2018 at 3:26 am

    I am unclear. When Stuart said ‘December last year’ , does he really mean to say that tests only started last month?

  9. chris hill January 26, 2018 at 6:40 am

    The Barbados government never tested the water just filled the news with crap talk. i personally have been boiling my drinking water since the sewage broke out because these pipes all run together and the chance of leaking into each other is highly likely. call the election and lets get some real leadership bout here.

    • roger headley January 26, 2018 at 8:56 am

      I have been boiling my water since people started dropping down like flies in this country

    • hcalndre January 26, 2018 at 9:46 am

      chris hill; I would like to hear if the passenger ships have stop taking water in Barbados, the PM seems to take everything as a joke, I know that anytime that there is water problem, ships don`t take water at that port and how long it is going to take before this water catastrophe gets the ok.

  10. milli watt January 26, 2018 at 11:52 am

    If the business located in a cess pool and if contaminants from the cess pool find a path to enter the business and if the Chief Medical Officer is unable to close the businesses (although he can) then what do you expect.,,,,,,,, ahhhhh yes do what we always do in a Banana Republic such as this blame someone else.

  11. Helicopter(8P) January 26, 2018 at 2:18 pm

    A daily analisys chart on our potable water from every pumping station and reservour should be sent to the Ministries of Health and Agriculture respectively.

  12. harry turnover January 26, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    Single Business my foot !! what SINGLE BUSINESS are you talking bout ? DEM using this single Business thing as a SCAPEGOAT.
    Tell the people THE TRUTH bout wha REALLY going on with the SEWAGE STINK


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