The Jakarta Post/Jeneponto, South Sulawesi
Fourteen people were still being treated at hospitals in Jeneponto regency and Makassar as of Thursday, after eating green mussels taken from a local beach.
The food poisoning incident killed two people and caused symptoms in 63 residents from Mallasoro village in Bangkala district, Jeneponto, South Sulawesi, on Tuesday. The fatalities were Muna Daeng Angki, 45, and Daeng Bombong, 40.
The Jeneponto administration has called on residents not to consume green mussels for a period of time.
Hajrah, 43, said she ate green mussels for breakfast on Tuesday morning. Soon afterward, she felt dizzy, her lips thickened and her arms and neck felt stiff. She said she had eaten green mussels since she was a child, but it was the first time she had been fallen ill from them.
An official at the Jeneponto Health Agency, Suryaningrat, said cases of food poisoning began to be seen on Sunday but peaked on Tuesday.
Suryaningrat said on Wednesday that he had sent samples of green mussels to a laboratory.
Jeneponto Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Joko Sumarno, meanwhile, said he had sent samples of vomit to the South Sulawesi forensics lab.
However, not all residents who ate the shellfish were poisoned.
“Until Tuesday afternoon, I was still eating the same batch of green mussels. But I am fine,” said Marintang, 39, also from Mallasoro.
Villagers said this year’s green mussels season was the biggest in history. They had been harvesting mussels since June, collecting them on the beach when the tide receded. “We could take a sack of mussels home this season,” Mustari, 36, said. (evi)