The Singapore Food Agency issued a media statement on Wednesday, June 12 stating that they are recalling the Starfresh brand of bottled water, which was shown to contain a bacterium called Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The find happened during a random sampling of the product. This particular contaminant is a common environmental bacteria that is present in feces, soil, water, and sewage.
Starfresh bottled water brand from Malaysia recalled
According to a report from TODAY Online, the SFA directed the importer of the brand, Radha Exports, was told to recall all bottles of the product. The report says that the process is ongoing. The Starfresh water bottles come in 500 ml and 1.5 L bottles.
What is in these Starfresh water bottles anyway?
According to the United States Natinal Library of Medicine, the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa is is more commonly seen in hospital settings, with immunocompromised patients. 51,000 people become infected with the bacteria in the US per year.
While the contaminant is common and that some of us may even have the bacteria present on our skin areas such as the armpit and genitals, the people who could become severely infected and have trouble are those who are already sick or have a weakened immune system.
What are the symptoms of Pseudomona aeruginosa infection?
If you’ve ingested the Starfresh brand of water, here are the symptoms that you have to watch out for, depending on the area where the bacteria could be found on your body.
- Ears: pain and discharge
- Skin: rash, which can include pimples filled with pus
- Eyes: pain, redness, swelling
- Bones or joints: joint pain and swelling; neck or back pain that lasts weeks
- Wounds: green pus or discharge that may have a fruity smell
- Digestive tract: headache, diarrhea
- Lungs: pneumonia; severe coughing and congestion
Fever is also often a sign of a severe pseudomonas infection.
How does a pesudomonas infection get treated?
Depending on where you’ve been infected by the bacteria, you’ll get a round of antibiotics, according to Web MD. Infected people may need a cream for a skin infection, eye drops, ear drops, or pills.
For more severe infections, a hospital stay with antibiotics given intravenously is prescribed. But for people who have stronger immune systems or are in normal health, the infection may not even manifest.
“Use or consumption of products contaminated with Pseudomonas aeruginosa can cause a range of infections but rarely causes serious illness in healthy individuals,” said the agency. “Consumers who have purchased the implicated product are advised not to consume it.”
Affected consumers, it added, can contact Radha Exports at 6220 2777 for inquiries or requests to exchange the product that they’ve bought.
Ma Ling recall
Recently, a major food recall happened in the Philippines over popular luncheon meat brand Ma Ling. This sort of problem also crops up every few months in Singapore, where the same brand gets mentioned for the presence of residual antibiotics and other contaminants.
Header image from Singapore Food Agency Facebook page.