Oyster bar’s statement on food poisoning claims draws flak from diners

January 26, 2023 - 1:48 PM
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Wantusawan Oyster Bar
An interior of Wantusawa Oyster Bar in Poblacion, Makati in this Facebook post on Dec. 19, 2022 and its steamed clams in this Facebook post on Sept. 25, 2022 (Facebook/wantusawaoysters)

A popular oyster bar in Makati City’s statement addressing online allegations of food poisoning earned flak from diners who claimed to have experienced such.

Wantusawa on Wednesday said that it takes customer feedback and reviews “very seriously,” adding it is “taking it to heart.”

“We always strive to provide freshly prepared meals while adhering to critical safety and health standards,” it added.

The Poblacion-based oyster bar said it has “addressed each issue in a timely fashion requiring the necessary details in a fair and scientific manner.”

It added that the laboratory tests conducted on samples from the dates they received complaints “have shown a negative result for bacteria and thus clearing the possibility of any food poisoning.”

Wantusawa lamented continuously receiving “social media bullying” despite its efforts, laboratory tests and health clearances.

“In our pursuit of truth and due process, we shall likewise review our options to take any legal action against these purveyors of bullying and untruth,” it said.

The oyster bar added that it hoped the statement could assure the community “that any complaints made will be taken seriously, investigated thoroughly, and dealt with fairly in a timely manner.”

Wantusawa statement
(Screengrab by wantusawaoysters/Facebook)
Wantusawa statement
(Screengrab by wantusawaoysters/Facebook)

The statement came after several Facebook users left bad reviews about the food establishment after experiencing stomach aches and food-related illnesses.

These diners claimed of feeling stomach discomfort after allegedly consuming meals from the oyster bar.

Among them was Facebook user Coco Eje who called the attention of the Food and Drug Administration, as well as the city government of Makati, on Monday.

She shared screenshots of various reviews from other users who claimed to have had unpleasant experiences after dining from Wantusawa.

These complaints reportedly include vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, cramps, bloating and other symptoms.

“Wantusawa, I would leave a review on your page but I’m afraid it’s just gonna be shrugged off like all the other reviews [that are] already there. This needs urgent action,” Coco wrote on January 23.

“For public awareness and for the sake of honesty: the food is good but look at all these food poisoning complaints the past three weeks alone. Are all of these still isolated cases?” she added.

Wantusawa_Coco Eje
(Screengrab by kokofromplanetweird/Facebook)

 

Food poisoning is the result of consuming contaminated, spoiled or toxic food.

The Department of Health said that contaminated food could have disease-causing microorganisms (bacterial or its toxins, parasitic, viral).

The most common symptoms of food poisoning are diarrhea, stomach cramps or pains, nausea, vomiting and fever.

Meanwhile, Wantusawa’s statement about the accusations earned them fresh backlash from those claiming to have experienced the illness or knowing someone who did.

“Reported to you on [January] 2. You said ipapa-lab tests niyo muna, which is great! But it has been [three] weeks, no lab tests furnished yet. The most moral thing to do is identify the reason [for] cause. Until then, stop serving oysters for public safety. No one is bullying you. Just sharing our experiences and truth,” a Facebook user commented.

Wantusawa_statement_comment
(Screengrab by Interaksyon from wantusawaoysters/Facebook)

“Despite our constant effort to follow up regarding our concern, Wantusawa’s management BARELY provided us with any information/updates,” another Pinoy wrote.

“It has been MORE THAN [TWO WEEKS] since we reported, yet the lab results (that they are claiming to be negative) are still [to] no avail. Also, the very fact that they took down the review section of their Facebook page (which was filled with numerous food poisoning cases) obviously shows that they are not being transparent to their customers,” she added.

Wantusawa_statement_comment2
(Screengrab by Interaksyon from wantusawaoysters/Facebook)

‘Insensitive?’

The diners denied accusations that their complaints are mere “social media bullying,” citing their suffering and symptoms experienced after eating at the establishment.

They found the statement “insensitive” given their experience and feedback.

“As someone who’s been a regular and made recommendations for you guys, I would love to get the truth on this. But just so you know, I am currently experiencing food poisoning since eating at Poblacion branch last Friday night,” another Facebook user claimed.

“I still have the receipt that I did have [six] of your oysters if you need proof, like what we all need here. Get your restaurants audited by a third party. Would gladly help facilitate to get a credible one,” the user added.

Wantusawa_statement_comment3
(Screengrab by Interaksyon from wantusawaoysters/Facebook)

“Where are the actual lab results and which laboratory did the test? In the company I’m working with, if something happens, we apologize, we explain, and we provide a resolution. It could not be the perfect resolution for the customer, but they still say they’re happy with how we exerted our efforts to help them,” another Pinoy wrote.

“By the way, I’m one of those customers who got food [poisoning] along with my girlfriend. You didn’t hear from us because we thought it was an isolated situation. But hey, somebody had the courage to collate all the comments/complaints against you so kudos to him/her. He/she’s the one who exerted an effort to help,” he added.

Wantusawa_statement_comment4
(Screengrab by Interaksyon from wantusawaoysters/Facebook)

Towards the end of its statement, Wantusawa said it “reiterates its commitment to delicious, safe, and healthy cuisine for all its patrons.”

“Thank you for being vocal about your needs — it’s part of what makes us stronger!” the oyster bar also said in its caption.

In a Facebook comment on Thursday, Wantusawa posted a Google form where diners who wish to complain about their service and food offerings may air their formal complaint.

“Hello everyone, we hope you can help us go through this. For all complaints, kindly fill up this form so we can investigate further,” it said.

“Note: We will try our best to address everyone’s concern so please bear with us,” the establishment added.

The form could be accessed here: https://forms.gle/23HGua1eEMZRXzE58.

Wantusawa opened in Poblacion in 2018 and has since opened a food truck in Rockwell.

It offers fresh, baked, grilled and fried oysters, as well as shareable seafood plates. It also serves bowls of rice and noodles.