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Why Are People Mad At Wantusawa Food Poison Response

With over 20 complaints posted on social media, the restaurant's response draws ire

It started with a number of posts left by Facebook users on the official Facebook page of Poblacion restaurant Wantusawa. The posters alleged they had suffered food poisoning shortly after dining at the popular oyster bar. The symptoms reported include abdominal cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, fever. Some reported they had to be rushed to a hospital emergency room to treat their symptoms. 

A review dated January 18th read: "Food is good but the aftermath was so traumatizing for my group. We were served with a bad batch of oysters. 4 out of 7 of us experienced food poisoning the day after! Also, we had a heavy dinner prior going to Wantusawa just to be sure na okey kami if we eat the oyster, BUT NOOO! Still had a bad case of stomach flu (diarrhea, vomit, nausea). Been reading previous/recent reviews with same experience so I hope Wantusawa will do something about this."


Other posters lodged their complaints, and on January 23, Facebook user Coco Eje compiled a series of screenshots of reviews by people reporting they had experienced food poisoning after dining at the restaurant.  

"'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’s already there. This needs urgent action 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?" he wrote.

In response, Wantusawa released a statement last January 25:

“We take customer feedback and reviews very seriously. We always strive to provide freshly prepared meals while adhering to critical safety and health standards,” the statement read. 

It reported that samples of oysters served on the dates the complaints were filed  in question were submitted for laboratory testing, and that the results show “a negative result for bacteria and thus clearing the possibility of any food poisoning.”

“It is unfortunate that despite all our efforts, laboratory tests and health clearances, social media bullying against us has continued. 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. 

How people responded to Wantusawa's official statement:

Instead of resolving the issue, the response garnered ire. The official statement was called snarky, hostile, and some even interpreted as a threat. 

Others called out the restaurant for its lack of empathy. “Hello. We love your food so much. In fact, we’d usually go out of our way to go to your stall in Rockwell. I came from a PR agency and I know this is not how crisis should be managed."

“You simply cannot disregard the FACT that they got food poisoning from the food they ate at your restaurant,” said another. 

Customer ire can is perhaps encapuslated in this post: “Wow! This is the most insensitive statement that I’ve read so far. I’ve been working in the customer service industry for years, and all I can say is; this is not how you respond to complaints. Zero empathy, and zero resolution. 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. By the way, I’m one of those customers who got food poisoned 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.

As of publishing, the Wantusawa review section has been turned off.