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Three suspected food poisoning cases under investigation

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (June 16) investigating three suspected food poisoning involving seven persons who had eaten porcini mushrooms.

     The first case involved two men and one woman aged between 23 and 51. They developed abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhoea about two to four hours after eating porcini mushrooms at home on April 26. Two were admitted to Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital for treatment on April 27 and were discharged on the same day and April 29 respectively.

     The second case involved a man aged 45 and a woman aged 46. They developed similar symptoms about four to six hours after eating porcini mushrooms at home on June 7. They attended the Accident and Emergency Department of Tuen Mun Hospital for observation on June 8 and were discharged the next day.

     The third case involved two women aged 51 and 56 respectively. They developed similar symptoms about two hours after eating porcini mushrooms at home on June 15. They attended the Accident and Emergency Department of Princess Margaret Hospital on the same day and are currently under observation.

     All of the patients have been in stable condition all along. Investigation result of the first case revealed that the uncooked mushroom samples contained mixture of edible species as well as inedible/poisonous species. The other two cases are still under investigations.

     "Mushroom poisoning is generally acute. Common presentations include gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain appearing shortly after ingestion. Depending on the species, patient may also have other symptoms like profuse sweating, illusion, hallucination, coma and other neurological symptoms, as well as liver failure. Death may result in severe cases." a CHP spokesman said.

     "We advise the public to buy mushrooms from reputable and reliable suppliers and not to buy mushroom products which are doubted to be mixed with unknown species. Members of the public should not pick wild mushrooms for consumption as it is difficult to distinguish edible mushroom species from inedible ones. Mixing of edible species with inedible/poisonous species of mushroom will not dilute out toxicities. Cooking in most cases does not destroy toxicities," the spokesman added.

     "If mushroom poisoning is suspected, the patient should seek immediate medical attention and bring along any available remnant for identification," the spokesman said.

Ends/Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Issued at HKT 21:07


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