CHP investigates suspected food poisoning outbreak at institution in Kwai Chung

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (July 28) investigating an outbreak of suspected food poisoning at an institution in Kwai Chung, and hence reminded the public to maintain personal, food and environmental hygiene to prevent food-borne diseases.
     The outbreak involved 23 persons, comprising 11 men and 12 women aged from 23 to 59, who developed diarrhoea, abdominal pain and fever about six to 23 hours after lunch on July 26 in a staff gathering at the institution. Eighteen of the affected persons sought medical attention and required no hospitalisation. They are now in a stable condition.
     "We have alerted the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department to the incident and our investigations are ongoing," a spokesman for the CHP said.

     To prevent food-borne diseases, institutions are advised to:

• Choose and monitor food suppliers carefully; and
• Hot foods should be kept at above 60 degrees Celsius while cold foods should be kept at 4 degrees C or below.

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

• Eat thoroughly cooked food;
• All foodstuffs derived from animal sources, in particular meat, poultry, eggs and their products, should be properly handled and stored and thoroughly cooked;
• Food handlers should immediately stop handling food if they develop gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhoea or vomiting;
• Do not leave cooked food at room temperature for more than two hours;
• 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, July 28, 2017
Issued at HKT 20:10