CHP investigates suspected food poisoning cluster


     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (June 9) investigating a suspected food poisoning cluster affecting 15 persons, and reminded the public to maintain personal, food and environmental hygiene to prevent foodborne diseases.

     The cluster involved 14 students, comprising 11 males and three females, aged 13 to 18, and one staff member of a school. They developed vomiting, diarrhoea and nausea, about three to nine hours after having dinner at a school canteen in Stanley last night (June 8). Eight of the affected persons sought medical advice and none required hospitalisation. All affected persons are in stable condition.

     Initial investigations of the CHP revealed that the affected persons consumed common food, with a higher chance of involving food poisoning. The personnel from the CHP and the Centre for Food Safety of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department visited the place for an environmental investigation, and provided preventive advice against food poisoning to the school. Investigations are ongoing.

     To prevent foodborne 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 hotpot 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 foods;
  • Do not patronise illegal food hawkers;
  • Drink boiled water;
  • Do not try to use salt, vinegar, wine or wasabi to kill bacteria as they are not effective; and
  • Always wash hands before eating and after going to the toilet.

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