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Two suspected food poisoning cases under investigation
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (January 29) investigating two suspected food poisoning cases involving four persons who had eaten porcini mushrooms.

     The first case involved a mother aged 69 and her daughter aged 42. They developed vomiting and nausea about five to six hours after eating porcini mushrooms at home on December 29, 2017. Both were admitted to Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital for treatment on the following day and were discharged on the same day.

     The second case involved a mother aged 45 and her son aged 14. They developed diarrhoea, abdominal pain and vomiting about one to two hours after eating porcini mushrooms at home on December 26, 2017. They developed similar symptoms about an hour after eating porcini mushrooms at home again on January 2, 2018. Both of them did not seek medical attention.

     All of the patients have been in stable condition all along. Enquiries revealed that the porcini mushrooms of the two cases were separately purchased at two exhibitions in Hong Kong in December last year. Investigation results of both cases revealed that the uncooked mushroom samples contained mixture of edible species as well as inedible/poisonous species.

     The CHP has also alerted the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department to the incidents 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 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/Monday, January 29, 2018
Issued at HKT 20:41
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