“There have been some complaints of alleged cases of cholera on social media, but that is fake news,” says chef Roland Laudico, owner of the buffet restaurant Guevarra’s in San Juan.
This is what the chef told Nolisoli.ph via e-mail on Dec. 1 when asked what really happened to the food poisoning incident his restaurant got involved with.
On Aug. 30, a woman took to Facebook to call out the restaurant after her family got hospitalized. Karessa Mae Bulay Limpot claimed that they were diagnosed with cholera vibrio, kidney failure, and acute gastroenteritis.
“Hindi po ito basta-bastang sakit lang sa tiyan. My dad and sister’s kidneys have shut down. My dad has to undergo dialysis twice,” wrote Limpot.
The complaint led to the restaurant’s temporary closure on Sep. 4 for 12 days. They were only required by the local government to close for five days but they “chose to keep the restaurant closed a little longer so we could take elevated precautionary measures,” said Laudico.
After the San Juan Health Department conducted two sanitary inspections, which the restaurant passed, Guevarra’s also did independent tests with “three private companies.”
“All reported that there were no cholera bacteria. They also ruled out the presence of Amoeba and E.coli,” says Laudico. He also said that their suppliers are the same as the other buffet chains’. “If this was a supplier issue, then the impact would have been much bigger.”
Ruling cholera out of the story further, Laudico said that San Juan City—heck, Metro Manila—did and does not have cholera, according to the Department of Health (DOH) Epidemiology Bureau.
“However, there are several cholera cases in Region IV-A,” said Laudico. “This is also reflected in the DOH Food and Waterborne Diseases Surveillance Report Number 8 (January to August 2018). Taytay is part of Region IV-A. The family who complained is from Taytay.”
And unlike what Limpot wrote, Laudico said they’ve been in constant and continuous communication with the family—they even have screenshots for proof.
“Since the beginning, we have been asking for medical records and documents to submit to our insurance company. The claimants submitted these records more than a month after the incident, and they did not give the laboratory results until two weeks after that.
“The first document we saw was via Facebook,” said Laudico. The family didn’t also file anything in court, police, or barangay.
“The post on Facebook was irresponsible. We should not recklessly jump into conclusions prior to any proper investigation.”
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Writer: YAZHMIN MALAJITO
ART TRICIA GUEVARA