Sambas is one of the regencies in West Kalimantan which is usually filled with tourists who aim to enjoy the exquisite scenery. However, foreigners may now need to take extra precaution in selecting what street food they buy, as a recent incident involving poisonous ice cream just took place. The incident occurred in Sambas’s Kartiasa district on March 9, 2017.
Agus Mulyana, 47, was found guilty of poisoning a bunch of kids around SDN 8 Dusun Bindang. What made the incident strange was the fact that he sold ice cream made with rainwater, which of course is not safe to consume. The story went on to capture the attention of local media.
Mulyana confessed that he was trying to promote the ice cream to the kids by giving them free samples. After executing the promotion, he only managed to sell five servings of ice cream to the SDN 8 Dusun Bindang students. The next day, Mulyana once again gave ice cream to the kids in the school for free under the condition that they pay for it the following day.
He told authorities that he made the ice cream from food coloring, salt and rainwater. Mulyana defended himself despite the fact that around 30 students had to be rushed to nearby emergency rooms.
“The rainwater’s substances looked clear, and apart from being used as the main ingredient for the ice cream, Mulyana used the rainwater for his family’s consumption on daily basis,” said a local police officer.
Mulyana was reported by local residents in Desa Kartiasa, but so far, he has not been officially convicted. Local authorities mentioned that similar to other food poisoning cases, Mulyani might be charged for violating law No. 8 of 1999 regarding consumer protection, which would force him to pay a Rp.2 billion (approximately US$150,000) fine or serve five years of prison time. For now, Mulyana is still under investigation by authorities.
As far as foreigners in Indonesia are concerned, it is always recommended for expats and tourists to take precautions and prevent unnecessary risks. There were more than 1,661 food and beverage poisoning cases in Indonesia in 2016.
There are no official numbers published so far for 2017. That said, there have been some recorded cases of poisonous alcoholic beverages making it into the hands of consumers this year. Expats and tourists should remain cautious when it comes to trying street food for the first time.
Image credits: Akcaya News