Hong Kong – CHP investigates two suspected food poisoning clusters

CHP investigates two suspected food poisoning clusters

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     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (June 6) investigating two suspected food poisoning clusters affecting four persons, and reminded the public to maintain personal, food and environmental hygiene to prevent food-borne diseases.



     The first cluster involved a male and a female, aged 3 and 34, who developed symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting and fever about nine to 10 hours after having lunch at a restaurant in Sheung Wan on June 3.



     The other cluster involved a male and a female, both aged 51, who developed similar symptoms about eight to 10 hours after consuming food of the same restaurant on the same day.



     The four affected persons sought medical advice and three required hospitalisation. All of them are in stable condition.



     To prevent food-borne diseases, members of the public are reminded to maintain personal, food and environmental hygiene at all times. When dining out:

 

  • Patronise only reliable and licensed restaurants;
  • Avoid eating raw seafood;
  • Be a discerning consumer in choosing cold dishes, including sashimi, sushi and raw oysters, at a buffet;
  • Ensure food is thoroughly cooked before eating during a hot pot or barbecue meal;
  • Handle raw and cooked foods carefully and separate them completely during the cooking process;
  • Use two sets of chopsticks and utensils to handle raw and cooked food;
  • Do not patronise illegal food hawkers;
  • Drink boiled water;
  • Do not try to use salt, vinegar, wine and wasabi to kill bacteria as they are not effective; and
  • Always wash hands before eating and after going to the toilet.

Hong Kong – CHP investigates suspected puffer fish poisoning case

CHP investigates suspected puffer fish poisoning case

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     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (December 11) investigating a suspected puffer fish poisoning case, and hence reminded members of the public not to consume puffer fish.

      

     The case involves a 57-year-old man who developed perioral numbness about two hours after consuming cooked puffer fish, caught in local waters, at home yesterday (December 10).

      

     He attended the Accident and Emergency Department of Yan Chai Hospital in the small hours today and was admitted for treatment. He is now in a stable condition.

      

     Investigations by the CHP are continuing.

      

     A spokesman for the CHP said that consumption of puffer fish is the main cause of food poisoning from tetrodotoxin. Tetrodotoxin is a potent water-soluble neurotoxin that can affect the central nervous system.



     “Organs such as the liver, gonads and skin of puffer fish have high concentrations of tetrodotoxin. Being heat-stable, the toxin does not decompose upon cooking, boiling, drying or freezing. Tetrodotoxin intoxication can cause problems in respiration and circulation and is potentially fatal. There is no known antidote or antitoxin that can decompose tetrodotoxin. Members of the public are advised to avoid purchasing and preparing puffer fish or unknown fish for consumption to prevent tetrodotoxin-related food poisoning,” the spokesman said.

Hong Kong – CHP investigates two suspected food poisoning clusters

CHP investigates two suspected food poisoning clusters

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     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (November 24) investigating two suspected food poisoning clusters affecting five persons, and reminded the public to maintain personal, food and environmental hygiene to prevent food-borne diseases.

     The first cluster involved three females, aged 27 to 28, who developed abdominal pain, fever, nausea and vomiting about 33.5 hours after consuming takeaway food purchased from a restaurant in Kwun Tong on November 15.

     The other cluster involved two females, aged 35 and 36, who developed similar symptoms about 23.5 hours after having dinner at the same restaurant on November 19.

     Two of the affected persons sought medical advice and none required hospitalisation. All of them are in stable condition.

     “We have alerted the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department to the incident and investigations are ongoing,” a spokesman for the CHP said.

     To prevent food-borne diseases, members of the public are reminded to maintain personal, food and environmental hygiene at all times. When dining out:
 

  • Patronise only reliable and licensed restaurants;
  • Avoid eating raw seafood;
  • Be a discerning consumer in choosing cold dishes, including sashimi, sushi and raw oysters, at a buffet;
  • Ensure food is thoroughly cooked before eating during a hot pot or barbecue meal;
  • Handle raw and cooked foods carefully and separate them completely during the cooking process;
  • Use two sets of chopsticks and utensils to handle raw and cooked food;
  • Do not patronise illegal food hawkers;
  • Drink boiled water;
  • Do not try to use salt, vinegar, wine and wasabi to kill bacteria as they are not effective; and
  • Always wash hands before eating and after going to the toilet.

Hong Kong – CHP investigates suspected food poisoning cluster

CHP investigates suspected food poisoning cluster

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     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (October 15) investigating a suspected food poisoning cluster affecting 12 persons, and reminded the public to maintain personal, food and environmental hygiene to prevent food-borne diseases.

     The cluster involved five males and seven females, aged 26 to 43, who developed abdominal pain, diarrhoea, fever, nausea and vomiting about 17 hours after having lunch at a restaurant in Sha Tin on October 12.

     Six of the affected persons sought medical advice and none required hospitalisation. They are in stable condition.

     “We have alerted the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department to the incident and investigations are ongoing,” a spokesman for the CHP said.

     To prevent food-borne diseases, members of the public are reminded to maintain personal, food and environmental hygiene at all times. When dining out:
 

  • Patronise only reliable and licensed restaurants;
  • Avoid eating raw seafood;
  • Be a discerning consumer in choosing cold dishes, including sashimi, sushi and raw oysters, at a buffet;
  • Ensure food is thoroughly cooked before eating during a hot pot or barbecue meal;
  • Handle raw and cooked foods carefully and separate them completely during the cooking process;
  • Use two sets of chopsticks and utensils to handle raw and cooked food;
  • Do not patronise illegal food hawkers;
  • Drink boiled water;
  • Do not try to use salt, vinegar, wine and wasabi to kill bacteria as they are not effective; and
  • Always wash hands before eating and after going to the toilet.

Hong Kong – CHP investigates suspected carbon monoxide poisoning cluster associated with food premises

CHP investigates suspected carbon monoxide poisoning cluster associated with food premises

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     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (September 7) investigating a suspected cluster of carbon monoxide poisoning at a food premises and appealed to members of the public to take precautionary measures against carbon monoxide poisoning.

     The cluster involved a 14-person group, comprising six males and eight females, aged between 23 and 39, who consumed a hot pot dinner using charcoal as cooking fuel in the same room at a restaurant located on Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, last night (September 6). They developed symptoms including loss of consciousness, dizziness, vomiting, nausea, headache, shortness of breath and palpitation around two hours after the dinner started. The patients were sent to Ruttonjee Hospital and Queen Mary Hospital for treatment while one of them sought medical treatment at Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Four of them were later transferred to Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital for hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Ten out of the 14 patients are now in stable condition while the remaining four have been discharged. 

     Preliminary investigation revealed that while the air conditioner was turned on, the windows of the dining room were closed and the door was also closed for a long period of time during the hot pot meal, which may have caused the increase in the carbon monoxide level inside the room.

     Investigation is ongoing and the CHP has alerted the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department to the incident.

     The CHP said that carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless and tasteless gas that is a by-product from incomplete combustion of any fuel that contains carbon, such as wood, natural gas and gasoline.

     Exposure to a low concentration of carbon monoxide can lead to a range of symptoms such as dizziness, headache, tiredness and nausea, whereas exposure to a high concentration of carbon monoxide can lead to impaired vision, disturbed co-ordination, unconsciousness, brain damage or even death.

     The CHP reminded members of the public to use vented fuel-burning appliances in a well-ventilated area. They should seek medical attention immediately if suspected symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning develop, and should call the emergency hotline 999 immediately if the victim’s condition is serious or if the victim is unrousable or not breathing.