The outbreak has affected three women, all aged 27. They developed vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhoea and fever about 24 to 40 hours after having dinner in a food premises in Quarry Bay in the evening of January 3. The trio then sought medical attention and no hospitalisation was required. They have remained in stable condition.
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is investigating a food poisoning outbreak and reminds the public to maintain personal, food and environmental hygiene to prevent food-borne diseases.
The stool specimen of one of them tested positive for norovirus upon laboratory testing by the hospital. The CHP’s initial enquiries revealed that the trio had consumed raw oysters.
“The case has been referred to the Centre for Food Safety of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department for follow-up,” 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:
* Raw oysters are considered a high-risk food. Persons who consume undercooked or contaminated oysters may contract food-borne diseases such as norovirus, the hepatitis A virus or harmful bacteria like Vibrio parahaemolyticus;
* High-risk populations including children, the elderly and persons with weakened immunity should avoid eating undercooked food, such as shellfish and particularly raw oysters;
* 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 eating utensils to handle raw and cooked food;
* Patronise only reliable and licensed restaurants;
* 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.