MANILA - Some SEA Games athletes mistook chicken sausage as a non-Halal Filipino street food after hotel staff tried to tweak the processed meat with spices, a tournament official said Wednesday days after pictures of the alleged "kikiam" meal went viral.
Officials of the Whitewoods Convention & Leisure Hotel in Cavite earlier belied allegations that they served the usually cheap dish to national athletes, saying that game organizers inspected the processed meat before it was cooked and served to SEA Games delegates.
"It basically is just a chicken hotdog," SEA Games Executive Chef Bruce Lim said when reporters asked him to confirm the hotel's claim.
"The hotel wanted to liven it up a bit so what they did was saute it with soy sauce and different spices so it looked like kikiam, but it really wasn't," he said.
Philippine Malditas coach Let Dimzon - who earlier said that members of the country's national women's football team were served with kikiam - "did not taste it," Lim said.
"I think the hotel is requiring them to issue a public apology but that is out of my control. It's up to the coach and the hotel," he said.
Officials in charge of SEA Games dishes will "triple-check" the dietary restrictions of delegates and will require hotels to provide an allergens list for every dish served, the tournament's executive chef said after reports that Brunei's football team captain was brought to hospital over the weekend due to peanut allergies.
Despite assurances that only Halal-certified food is served in the 30th SEA Games, some countries have decided to provide food for their athletes to ensure that their delegates receive sufficient nutrients throughout the 11-day regional competition.