CHP investigates suspected food poisoning outbreak

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (December 5) investigating a suspected food poisoning outbreak and hence reminded the public to maintain personal, food and environmental hygiene to prevent food-borne diseases.

     According to the organiser concerned, about 210 persons participated in a tour to a park in Southern District on December 3. So far, the CHP has reached 60 participants and 35 cases (21 males and 14 females) aged from 6 to 35 have been identified. They developed diarrhoea, abdominal pain and vomiting about three to 33 hours after having lunch boxes at the park. Seven of them consulted private doctors but did not require hospitalisation.

     All the affected persons are now in a stable condition. The CHP's investigations, including tracing and follow-up on participants possibly affected, are proceeding.

     To prevent food-borne diseases, the CHP advised organisations to:

* Choose and monitor food suppliers carefully; and
* Keep hot foods at more than 60 degrees Celsius, while cold foods should be kept at 4 degrees Celsius or below.

     The CHP would also like to remind members of the public to maintain personal, food and environmental hygiene at all times. When dining out:

* Eat thoroughly cooked food;
* Patronise only reliable and licensed restaurants;
* Do not patronise illegal food hawkers;
* Drink boiled water;
* Always wash hands before eating and after going to the toilet;
* Avoid eating raw seafood;
* Be a discerning consumer in choosing cold dishes, including sashimi, sushi and raw oysters, at a buffet;
* Use two sets of chopsticks and eating utensils to handle raw and cooked food; and
* Do not try to use salt, vinegar, wine and wasabi to kill bacteria as they are not effective.

Ends/Friday, December 5, 2014
Issued at HKT 18:45