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CHP investigates case of suspected food poisoning
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (February 20) investigating a suspected food poisoning case involving three patients who had eaten porcini mushrooms.

     The patients, a man aged 32, his wife aged 31 and their son aged 2, presented with vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain around five hours after consuming porcini mushrooms during dinner at home on February 18. They attended the Accident and Emergency Department of Queen Mary Hospital the next day and were discharged on the same day. The patients have been in stable condition all along.

     Initial enquiries revealed that the porcini mushrooms were purchased from a store in Sai Ying Pun between mid-November and early December last year.

     The CHP has also alerted the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department to the incident and investigations are ongoing.

     "Mushroom poisoning is generally acute. Common presentations include gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain appearing shortly after ingestion. Depending on the mushroom species, patients may also have other symptoms like profuse sweating, illusion, hallucination, coma or 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 may 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 or poisonous species of mushroom will not dilute toxicity. Cooking in most cases does not destroy toxicity," 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/Monday, February 20, 2017
Issued at HKT 18:59
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