Mookata linked to illness in Nakhon Ratchasima
Some experiences just can’t be replicated. For instance, having shabu shabu, Korean BBQ or mookata at home is completely different from enjoying it in a restaurant.
So, when news broke that dine-ins were back on the menu in Thailand, residents flocked to curb their cravings for meat as well as the novelty of cooking your own meal at an eatery.
Unfortunately, this week also brought to light cases of 14 mookata diners in Nakhon Ratchasima falling ill and three who passed away. These regrettable instances are said to be linked not only to mookata restaurants, but also their practices.
Read on to find out more about how authorities found a relationship between mookata and less than savoury restaurant practices.
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14 cases of rapid hearing loss and deaths associated with mookata
In the past month, 14 reported cases of Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SSNHL) – commonly known as “sudden deafness” – and three deaths in Nakhon Ratchasima’s Soeng Sang District – were allegedly associated with the consumption of mookata.
This is according to Daily News’ report dated 14th September 2021.
Authorities speculate that the cases of SSHNL could be linked to the consumption of uncooked pork and/or meat from pigs that have not been properly slaughtered.
One of the patients reportedly stated that they don’t eat raw pork, but do frequently enjoy mookata.
They further speculated that they could have been infected as they ate undercooked pork or because they used the same pair of chopsticks to handle cooked and raw meats at the restaurant.
Investigations are ongoing to uncover the cause of the illnesses and reported cases, but here’s a quick breakdown of the symptoms reported.
Symptoms of SSNHL and treatment options
Symptoms of the cases thus far include reported headaches, fevers and cases of diarrhoea, reports Kapook.
As for SSNHL, the condition is typically characterised by the sudden loss of hearing – either total or mild impairment – for 72 hours or less.
Causes of the ailment include bacterial and viral infections, but only 10% of infected patients can pinpoint the exact trigger for rapid hearing loss, states The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
Pig farming practices reportedly connected to illnesses
On 14th September 2021, a meeting between public health officials was held in the wake of recent reports. This was arranged by District Chief Mr. Sanit Srithawee in order to publicise sanitation and safety guidelines for proper slaughter practices in the affected region.
District officials mentioned that some individuals – including mookata – owners have opted to butcher the meat themselves as there is only one slaughterhouse in the Soeng Sang District.
The authorities have now reiterated that those who are handling livestock should go through the proper and legal channels – like the a health-certified slaughterhouse – in order to ensure the safety of all those involved.
Pig farmers are also required to raise their animals in sanitary conditions and to refrain from selling sick pigs.
As for consumers, officials have advised that they avoid eating raw pork and to cook the meat for at least 10 minutes before enjoying it.
Always be mindful of your safety
The resumption of dine-in services was met with excitement from both F&B providers and restaurant goers. While we were able to have some of our favourite meals delivered or recreate some of them in our kitchen, it just wasn’t the same.
As excited as we are to enjoy some much-missed hotpot or BBQ, it’s also important to remember that safety always comes first. That means cooking your meat all the way through, washing your hands before and after you eat, as well as following the regulations set for dining in.
While we take precautions to enjoy our favourite meals safely, we also extend our condolences to the loved ones of those who have passed and hope that those affected will recover soon.
Cover image adapted from: EatBook
Image is for illustration purposes only.