Up to 110 people have been stricken with what appears to be salmonella food poisoning in a town south of Brisbane, Australia.

Salmonella bacteria (red)/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Salmonella bacteria (red)/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

The Metro South Public Health Unit has received multiple complaints from separate groups of diners with gastro-intestinal illness after eating at a restaurant in the Logan area recently.

The suspected salmonella outbreak has prompted the Logan City Council to temporarily close the Chin Chin Chinese restaurant in Springwood.  A Logan council spokeswoman said a temporary closure was placed on the restaurant to ensure no further risk while the investigation is being completed.

Queensland Health has taken samples from the patients and believe the deep-fried ice cream could have been the source of contamination.

Dr Kari Jarvinen from the Metro South Public Health Unit said the outbreak affected toddlers to those aged in their 80s, with many needing to be admitted to hospital for treatment.

“A number of people who have had samples taken have tested positive to salmonella,” he said.

Symptoms of the gastro-intestinal illness include: Stomach pain or cramping, Diarrhea, Nausea, Vomiting and Dehydration.

If you are experiencing symptoms, visit your general practitioner, call 13 HEALTH or 000 in case of emergency, or present to your nearest emergency department.

Dr Jarvinen said that anyone suffering from gastro-intestinal illness should seek medical advice if symptoms do not settle promptly, if you are getting dehydrated, developing a fever or there are any concerns such as blood or mucus in bowel motions.

“Left untreated, people can become very sick from gastro and the longer they don’t seek treatment, the more dehydrated you become and the recovery time increases.”

“People should take general hygiene precautions while sick such as washing their hands carefully to avoid spreading germs.”

“It is important for people to stay home from work until they have recovered and have been free of symptoms for 24 hours, however if people work handling food they should wait until they have been symptom free for 48 hours,” said Kari.

An investigation has been launched by the Metro South Health Public Health Unit in collaboration with Logan City Council.

Immediate action has been taken to prevent potential further illness while investigations and laboratory testing is continuing, in accordance with standard protocols for investigating suspected foodborne illness complaints.