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Update on suspected food poisoning cases involving sandwiches
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (May 25) provided an update on its investigation into the suspected food poisoning cases involving sandwiches announced on May 21 and 22, and reminded the public to maintain personal, food and environmental hygiene to prevent food-borne diseases.
     The CHP has today identified 26 more clusters of suspected food poisonings relating to those sandwiches. The newly reported clusters involved 25 males and 40 females aged 1 to 64. They developed gastroenteritis symptoms including abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea and fever about two to 30 hours after consuming the sandwiches. Among them, 54 sought medical consultation and 15 required hospitalisation.

     As of 4pm today, the CHP has identified a total of 37 clusters of suspected food poisonings, affecting 93 persons. Among them, a stool specimen of one affected person 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," a spokesman for the CHP 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:

• Patronise only reliable and licensed restaurants;
• Avoid eating raw seafood;
• Be a discerning consumer in choosing cold dishes, including sashimi, sushi and raw oysters, at a buffet;
• Ensure food is thoroughly cooked before eating during a hot pot or barbecue meal;
• Handle raw and cooked foods carefully and separate them completely during the cooking process;
• Use two sets of chopsticks and utensils to handle raw and cooked food;
• Do not patronise illegal food hawkers;
• Drink boiled water;
• 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/Monday, May 25, 2020
Issued at HKT 17:17
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