A wedding in Talakag, Bukidnon, turned into a distressing event as over 140 guests experienced food poisoning, leading to a rush to various hospitals for treatment. The incident occurred on November 18, 2023, when attendees began to show symptoms of food poisoning after consuming food at the wedding held in Sitio Calapat, Barangay Tagbak.
The initial count of affected individuals stood at 145, but later reports indicated that the number had risen to 154. The victims, including children and members of indigenous tribes, complained of nausea, painful abdominal spasms, vomiting, and diarrhea shortly after consuming the food. The symptoms manifested in less than two hours following the ingestion of “pansit,” a popular Filipino dish made up of noodles typically cooked with chicken, pork, shrimp, squid, and mixed with cabbage, sometimes accompanied by carrots or chayote.
An investigation into the cause of the illness pointed to the possibility of the pansit being contaminated, as it was reportedly prepared and wrapped in plastic bags early in the morning of the wedding day. The local government units of Talakag and Lantapan towns in Bukidnon confirmed the food poisoning incident and immediately provided essential interventions to assist in the recovery of the victims. Specimens of the food served at the wedding were collected by municipal health workers for laboratory examination by medical technologists and chemists at the Bukidnon Provincial Health Office.
The affected individuals were dispersed across various medical facilities in the region for treatment. The reported hospitals included the Provincial Hospital in Talakag, Bethel Hospital Malaybalay, Polymedic Malaybalay City, St. Jude, Midway Aglayan, Polymedic Valencia, Provincial Hospital Malaybalay, Maramag Hospital, and the Kibangay Health Center.
As the community grapples with this unfortunate incident, health authorities continue their efforts to verify the exact cause of the massive food poisoning. This incident underscores the importance of stringent food safety measures, especially during large gatherings such as weddings