BackEat & Drink » Food Culture » Hội An Reports 91 Food Poisoning Cases Linked to Famous Bánh Mì Phượng

Hội An Reports 91 Food Poisoning Cases Linked to Famous Bánh Mì Phượng

Bánh Mì Phượng, Hội An’s most famous bánh mì eatery, recently made national headlines again, but for unfortunate reasons.

According to the Quảng Nam Department of Health, reports Tuổi Trẻ, as of September 13, the province has recorded 91 cases of food poisoning with link to Bánh Mì Phượng, 34 of whom are foreign nationals.

The Hội An City Health Center shared with local media that victims started showing up at hospitals and clinics in the ancient town from September 11. It’s estimated that those affected consumed bánh mì at the shop from 8am to 8pm on the same day. The center sold a total of 1,920 bánh mì on September 11 and 1,700 portions on September 12.

Quảng Nam authorities have since suspended operations at Bánh Mì Phượng to conduct an investigation into the shop’s food safety compliance and carry out tests on samples collected during the affected business day.

While the sandwich location serves a range of Vietnamese fare from its menu, the majority of victims bought its famed bánh mì and started exhibiting gastrointestinal symptoms from 2 to 16 hours after eating. 

So far, the Vietnam Food Safety Authority was able to verify that the bánh mì store’s vegetables, pickles, chả and mayo came from reputable vendors at Hội An Market. A number of components that were made in-house — such as the pâté and caramelized pork — are being tested for possible contaminants.

It’s unclear at the moment when Bánh Mì Phượng will reopen and what caused the food poisoning cases.

Bánh Mì Phượng has been a time-honored food institution in Hội An for decades, but it was American chef and food personality Anthony Bourdain who elevated the humble street stall to global notoriety. In an episode of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, the host and restaurateur Phillipe Lajaunie paid the place a visit to share one of its signature bánh mì — dubbed “a symphony in a sandwich” by Bourdain. 

[Photo by Lee Ann via Vietnamnet

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