TURKEY

Bacteria in Turkish army food poisoning case identified

BACTERIA IN TURKISH ARMY FOOD POISONING CASE IDENTIFIED

A bacteria which gave more than a thousand military personnel food poisoning this May has been identified, the Turkish Health Ministry said Thursday.

"The food incident that took place in a military base on May 23 has been confirmed to be caused by Salmonella," the ministry said in a statement.

"Data collected and related camera recordings prove that there was problem in the preparation process of the food," the statement added.

The report has been sent to the governorship of the Aegean province of Manisa, where the incident occurred.

More than 1,000 soldiers at the Manisa First Infantry Training Brigade Command fell ill and nearly 200 were hospitalized, after a dinner this May.

In another incident on June 17 in the same base, 730 military personnel needed medical attention after eating food, Akif Celalettin Simsek, Manisa's chief public prosecutor said.

A team of 12 laboratory experts under the leadership of Irfan Sencan, the chairman of Public Health Institution, went to Manisa to investigate the June 17 incident.

They took samples of potable water and food and examined blood samples of hospitalized soldiers.

The possibility of food poisoning was confirmed in a preliminary report.

Officials also conducted a questionnaire with responses from 2,300 soldiers to further investigate the cause.

Dozens of suspects, including soldiers, were arrested following the incidents.

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