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Update on suspected food poisoning cases

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (August 5) provided an update on its investigation into suspected food poisoning cases related to the consumption of sandwiches of "Hung Rui Chen" (Horng Ryen Jen) (in case of any problem with the transliteration, the name in Chinese shall prevail), and again urged the public to maintain personal, food and environmental hygiene to prevent food-borne diseases.

     "Five additional clusters were identified today in which 13 persons purchased and consumed the sandwiches with onset earlier," a spokesman for the CHP said.

     They comprise five males and eight females aged 14 to 53 who developed gastroenteritis symptoms including diarrhoea, abdominal pain, vomiting and fever about three to 61 hours after consuming the above sandwiches between July 25 and 29. Among them, nine sought medical attention and one of them has been discharged upon hospitalisation.

     These sandwiches were purchased from a supermarket in Tsim Sha Tsui, exhibition booths in a shopping centre in Wong Tai Sin, a stall in a shopping centre in Tsuen Wan, a shop in Kwun Tong and a restaurant in Yuen Long between July 25 and 29.

     As of 5pm today, the CHP had identified a total of 25 clusters affecting 72 persons. In addition to laboratory testing results reported earlier, stool specimens from three more cases tested positive for Group D Salmonella.

     All affected persons are now in stable condition. Investigations are proceeding.

     "Prolonged storage of food at room temperature may allow pathogens to grow and produce toxins. Members of the public should avoid consuming cooked or ready-to-eat food that has been kept at room temperature for several hours," the spokesman 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:

* Eat thoroughly cooked food;
* Avoid eating raw seafood;
* Buy food from reliable and licensed restaurants and food suppliers only;
* Do not patronise illegal food hawkers;
* 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.

Ends/Wednesday, August 5, 2015
Issued at HKT 19:14


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