‘Halo-halo’ downs 18 in Maguindanao


DATU PAGLAS, Maguindanao — Eighteen people here were hospitalized after eating “halo-halo” which was prepared with a suspected spoiled milk, health officials said Wednesday.

Dr. Elizabeth Samama, chief of Buluan District Hospital in Buluan, Maguindanao, said all the 18 residents, who sought medical attention from the town hospital here, have been discharged.

Samama, who has supervisory function in the Datu Paglas hospital, said the patients claimed they ate “halo-halo” from a roadside refreshment parlor in Barangay Poblacion to refresh themselves from excruciating heat.

But hours after taking the favorite Filipino food, the customers complained of severe stomach disorders and vomiting.

All the 18 patients bought the food from the same vendor who was not identified in the report.

“We all ate in this carenderia,” Ali Saban, 30, one of those who complained of stomach disorders, said in vernacular. “The halo-halo was delicious and sweet, only after about an hour that we complained of abdominal disorders,” he said.

Saban said he and other patients would not press charges against the roadside restaurant owner for “she is one of us.”

Samama said health investigation showed the milk used by the vendor was spoiled or had been opened for more than 24 hours. She advised those engaged in food preparation for public or private consumption to ensure and observe hygiene in food preparation to avoid cases of food poisoning. PNA-northboundasia.com