Press Release



Food Poisoning related to Fresh Jin Zhen


The Department of Health (DH) today (June 19) confirmed that there were two incidents of food poisoning suspected of being related to fresh Jin Zhen over the past week

A DH spokesman said that fresh Jin Zhen may contain colchicine which can cause abdominal pain, nausea and diarrhoea.

"Therefore, we do not recommend the use of fresh Jin Zhen as the main ingredient in any dish.

"Before cooking or using as a garnish, fresh Jin Zhen should be soaked in water for a few hours. Moreover, only a few pieces should be used at any meal," the spokesman said.

Six people were reported to develop symptoms of abdominal pain, nausea and diarrhoea after consuming fresh Jin Zhen, on 12 June and 17 June respectively. The first incident occurred in a restaurant in North Point and follow-up investigation found that of three people involved, one sought treatment in hospital and was discharged.

The second case took place in a domestic household in Yau Ma Tei involving three people.

All six people involved have recovered.

The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department has already taken samples of fresh Jin Zhen for examination and will take necessary follow-up action.

End/Monday, June 19, 2000