The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is investigating an outbreak of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) at a kindergarten in Tseung Kwan O, and hence reminded the public and management of institutions to maintain personal and environmental hygiene against AGE. The outbreak involves 20 students, comprising 13 boys and seven girls aged 2 to 5, as well as two female staff members, who have developed vomiting, diarrhea and fever since November 4. Among them, seven students and one staff member sought medical attention, while one was discharged upon hospitalisation. All affected persons have been in a stable condition.
Officers of the CHP conducted a site visit and provided health advice to the staff of the school concerning proper and thorough disinfection, the disposal of vomit, and personal and environmental hygiene.
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is investigating a suspected outbreak of food poisoning in a tour group, and hence urged the public to maintain good personal, food and environmental hygiene to prevent food-borne diseases.
Because all foodborne illness is caused by poor personal hygiene, and not contaminated product.
The outbreak affected six members of the tour group, comprising two men and four women aged from 44 to 80, who developed abdominal pain, diarrhoea and vomiting 14 to 40 hours after their lunch buffet in a restaurant in a hotel in Macau on August 13 arranged by a travel agent in Hong Kong.
Among them, three sought medical attention in Hong Kong and required no hospitalisation. All affected persons have been in stable condition.
The stool specimen of one patient tested positive for Vibrio parahaemolyticus upon laboratory testing.
The diners, aged two to 44, suffered abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever, after eating the US-stye restaurant’s Thanksgiving dinner set, which included grilled turkey, apple pie and pumpkin pie, Apple Daily reports.
They were sent home after their condition stabilized. None of the patients required hospitalization, the report said.
The outlet’s manager said staff suspected some items of the dinner set could have been contaminated.
The turkey and pumpkin pie had been taken off the menu, although the apple pie was only being held off temporarily.
The manager described the incident as shocking, considering that nothing like it had ever happened at the restaurant since it started serving the festive set more than 20 years ago.
A spokesman for the CFS said, “The CFS took the sample of smoked salmon mixed vegetable salad for testing from a licensed food premises in Sha Tin under a risk assessment study on microbiological quality of vegetables and vegetable salads. The result showed that the salad sample contained Listeria monocytogenes at a level of 2 400 per gram, exceeding the standard of the Microbiological Guidelines for Food which states that no more than 100 of the pathogen per gram should be detected.” The CFS has informed the premises concerned of the irregularity and instructed it to stop selling the food item in question immediately.
The CFS has also provided health education on food safety and hygiene to the person-in-charge and staff of the premises. The premises have voluntarily suspended its business temporarily to carry out thorough cleaning and disinfection. The CFS is also tracing the sources of the ingredients of the affected food item.
“Listeria monocytogenes can be easily destroyed by cooking but can survive and multiply at refrigerator temperatures.
The 24 patients, including 13 children (six boys and seven girls) and 11 adults (three men and eight women) aged from 1 to 39, have presented with fever, vomiting and diarrhea since October 1. Among them, 18 sought medical attention while five of them have been discharged after hospitalization. All patients are now in a stable condition.
The stool specimen of one child tested positive for norovirus upon laboratory testing by the hospital concerned. Investigations are continuing.
In addition, health officials are investigating two outbreaks of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) in two kindergartens in Tai Po and Tin Shui Wai. An etiology has not been determined.
The outbreak at the kindergarten in Tai Po involves eight males and 13 females, comprising 18 pupils aged 3 to 5 and three staff members. They have presented with vomiting, diarrhea and fever since September 29. Fourteen of them sought medical attention and none required hospitalization.
The outbreak at the kindergarten in Tin Shui Wai involved eight boys and 13 girls aged between 2 and 5. They have presented with diarrhea and vomiting since October 3. Eleven pupils sought medical attention while one of them required hospitalization.
All three facilities have been visited by health officials and received advice concerning proper and thorough disinfection, disposal of vomitus, and personal and environmental hygiene. The three places have been put under medical surveillance.
Each student would have to pay tuition fees of HK$120,000 a year. The government has warned the university not to assume that in the long run it would receive public funding, which would reduce the fees to HK$42,100 a year.
Nonetheless university president Professor Way Kuo is confident of securing government funding in 2018, by which time it also hopes to have raised HK$1 billion to support the programme. Cornell University in the US is a partner in the course.
City university says part of the course will focus not on training vets in the care of domestic pets, but on research into food safety and how to prevent disease spreading from animals to humans. Since this is most relevant to the agricultural and livestock industry across the border rather than Hong Kong, perhaps it is hoped the course will attract enough fee-paying students from the mainland to begin with.
A spokesman for the CFS said, “The Centre received a notification from the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) of the European Commission that certain batches of the above-mentioned raw goat milk cheese were found to have been contaminated with E. coli and the French manufacturer concerned has initiated a recall of the affected products.
According to the RASFF, some of the products under Lot No. V161 have been imported into Hong Kong.”
That’s the message from the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (August 4) as it reported its investigation into an outbreak of suspected food poisoning at an institution in Tseung Kwan O, and hence reminded the public to maintain personal, food and environmental hygiene to prevent foodborne diseases.
“Upon notification from the department concerned yesterday afternoon (August 3), our Outbreak Team immediately commenced epidemiological investigations. We have alerted the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department to the incident and will work with relevant departments on the investigation,” a spokesman for the CHP said.
The outbreak at this stage involved 75 persons, comprising 74 men and one woman aged from 20 to 33, who developed diarrhoea and abdominal pain about one to 28 hours after dinner on August 2 at the institution. All affected persons did not seek medical attention and required no hospitalisation. They are now in a stable condition. 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 four degrees Celsius 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;
Proper handling, storage and thorough cooking of all food-stuff derived from animal sources, in particular meat, poultry, eggs and their products;
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.
The victims suffered from abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea about two to 24 hours after having dinner at a restaurant on June 25 and 26, it said in a statement.
The statement did not identify the restaurant, but RTHK reported earlier that several people became ill after eating sashimi, lobster and Peking duck at Harbour Grand Cafe in Harbour Grand Hong Kong Hotel.
The CHP said Tuesday that it has identified eight food-poisoning clusters affecting 32 people.
The victims comprised 13 males and 19 females, with their ages ranging from 1 to 73.
Twenty-four of them sought medical consultation but none required hospitalization. All of the affected persons are currently in stable condition.
This brings the total number of persons affected by food-poisoning to 74 so far, comprising 29 males and 45 females aged 1 to 79.
The CHP said it has alerted the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department about the latest incident and that investigations are ongoing.
Because in the absence of any details, it’s PR strategy to blame consumers.
The boy, aged 3 with good past health, has developed fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, cough and runny nose since June 10, and was admitted to a private hospital for management on June 12. He has been in a stable condition all along and was discharged on June 15.
His stool specimen tested positive for STEC O157:H7 upon laboratory testing by the CHP’s Public Health Laboratory Services Branch.
Initial enquiries revealed that the patient had no recent travel history. He had contact with animals during the incubation period, but did not consume unpasteurised milk or raw food.