164 sickened in Aug. Norovirus found in mass food poisoning at Taiwan’s Chiaohsi hotel

The Yilan County Public Health Bureau said Aug. 12 that several customers and employees in the mass food poisoning case at Hotel Royal Chiaohsi (礁溪老爺酒店) had tested positive for norovirus, though it has not been confirmed as the official cause.

Earlier this month, news broke out that 164 people who dined at the Hotel Royal Chiaohsi’s buffet restaurant had experienced symptoms of food poisoning, including a group of Chailease Finance Co. employees that were on a company retreat. Of all the afflicted individuals, 92 have sought medical assistance, according to the health bureau.

The bureau said that a few customers and hotel staff members, including two restaurant workers, have received a positive result for the norovirus test, but no traces of the virus have been found on any of the kitchenware so far. Since the investigation results will determine the hotel’s responsibility and its follow-up settlement, the bureau said more clarification is needed on the true cause of the incident.

Of course it was the eggs: 71 sick from InterContinental Adelaide buffet

Katrina Stokes of The Advertiser reports the InterContinental Adelaide buffet breakfast that made at least 71 people sick from salmonella poisoning has been linked to cross-contamination from eggs.

scrambled.eggsAn Adelaide City Council and SA Health joint investigation has identified the likely cause of the salmonella as cross contamination or inadequate cooking of raw eggs.

The total number of people struck down with symptoms including vomiting, diarrhoea, fever and headaches after eating the breakfast spread at the luxury hotel on Sunday, July 31, has risen to 71, including 21 people who were admitted to hospital.

InterContinental Adelaide general manager Colin McCandless said the investigation was “still ongoing”.

“What the Adelaide City Council has released is a likely cause (but) we’re still partnering with them fully to determine what the exact cause was,” he said.

That’s the same McCandless who last week said it was ‘absolutely safe’ to eat at the hotel.

SA Health chief medical officer Professor Paddy Phillips said the latest salmonella outbreak was another reminder of the potential risks associated with handling raw eggs.

The hotel’s $37 full breakfast buffet at the Riverside Restaurant includes scrambled eggs.

And what about those dips? Any raw eggs in those?

A selection of egg-related outbreaks in Australia can be found here.

35 sick after buffet at UW-Madison

Thirty-five people reported symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea after sharing a buffet line at the Pyle Center at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

A spokeswoman for UW Extension, which runs the conference center, told the Wisconsin State Journal they fell ill a day after eating lunch Thursday in the Pyle Center’s Alumni Lounge. She says the same food was served to four other groups at the center, as well as to employees and visitors in the nearby Lowell Center, and no one from those locations reported symptoms.

Norovirus buffet sickens 13 of 19

Beth Jones plays homegrown epidemiologist and writes with certainty for wbur.org in Boston:

Missy is cute, blond, sweet, and four-years-old. She doesn’t look like a vector. But she initiated such a path of norovirus destruction at our Christmas party that it will forever be remembered as: The Party Where (Almost) Everyone Got Sick.

Really, really, sick.

We had friends, a delicious buffet, mulled cider and spiced eggnog. Children ran through the house in dress-up costumes. The tree twinkled, conversations hummed. It was the lovely party we’d hoped for.

At the end of the day, Missy sat on the bottom of our staircase and complained that her stomach hurt. It was no surprise; the kids had been playing for hours, eating on occasion. Picking up food, tasting it, putting it down. If I were to make a guess, my very unscientific norovirus research would lead me to that act of picking up and putting down. I’d wager that an infected half eaten snickerdoodle or a slice of smoked ham nibbled and abandoned by Missy was the cause of everything that followed.

The party was on Saturday. The norovirus has a 48-hour incubation period. By Monday, Missy was in Children’s Hospital Boston receiving intravenous fluids; she couldn’t even drink water without vomiting. Her mother could barely get out of bed. Two friends mistakenly thought they had food poisoning. Another guest thought the mulled cider had caused her to throw up. Like dominos, nearly everyone was slammed by the virus, knocked down and lying flat in bed or crawling to the bathroom. Thirteen of the 19 people at our party were sick within two days of the holiday festivities.

I’d like to see the food items on the menu. Any raw oysters?

Are self-serve buffet restaurants in hospitals a good idea?

Some employees at a U.K. hospital are saying the only buffet in a hospital should be named Jimmy (with an extra ‘t’ right, exactly as shown).

A new self-service buffet is making a pig’s breakfast of infection control at Coventry’s University Hospital, angry staff claim.

The help-yourself spread was unveiled at the hospital’s main restaurant last week and is open to workers, patients and visitors.

Shocked hospital workers say they were only warned about the change days earlier when a sign went up.

They claim the self-service system is a hygiene disaster waiting to happen.

Allowing sick patients to handle the food could quickly spread infections, such as the highly contagious norovirus sickness bug, staff say.

One angry worker told the Coventry Telegraph,

 “I think it is disgusting. Patients have been coming in with catheters and drip tubes in and rummaging through the piles of toast. Who knows what infections they are bringing down from the wards.”

Craig Smith, spokesman for contractor ISS, said the self-service breakfast buffet was launched to offer its customers more choice after consultation with staff and visitors.

“It is not unusual to have a self-service restaurant in a hospital – it is in place in hospitals up and down the country.”

The Mazurs and Food Safety

I like to think of myself as being quite conscious of food safety, but I have learned so much since starting my work with the International Food Safety Network six months ago.  Not only do I think more about washing my hands and cleaning food properly, I’ve told my family members about it as well.

My mom has become a regular reader of BarfBlog and we’ve also discussed a few of the articles at the dinner table.  When we’re out doing things and we see someone doing something unsafe with food (like picking food up off the floor and eating it) one of our favorite things to do is say, “Doug wouldn’t like that.”

It turns out that there are a few things in the lives of the Mazurs that “Doug wouldn’t like.”  A prime example is one of our favorite restaurants on the East side of Wichita.  They serve traditional Indian food, buffet style.  The restaurant is family owned, and as far as I know they have a relatively clean restaurant up to code according to the city.  But during my interview for my job with Doug, we discussed this restaurant and I distinctly remember him telling me it wasn’t a good idea to eat at a buffet.  The food sits out for hours and so many people go up and contaminate it, even with a sneeze guard.

He’s right, buffet style is a food safety nightmare , but unfortunately it hasn’t stopped our family from eating there once every two weeks.  I have yet to get sick from the buffet, so I continue to play the game of Russian roulette with the possible pathogens in the Indian food.  Each time we sit down at that restaurant we all say, “Doug sure wouldn’t approve of this.

Beware the buffet

I searched buffet and barf on google image, and Jimmy came up.

Over 50 employees of Japan’s host broadcaster at the world athletics championships have taken ill with suspected food poisoning.

Broadcaster TBS and Osaka organisers were cited as saying on Tuesday that 59 people had gone to hospital after eating a buffet lunch supplied by an independent catering company.