Saturday, May 17, 2008

Food Poisoning Around The World - May 17th Edition

Incidents have been piling up in the last few days, so it's time for another leg of our world tour.

Students at the National Youth Skill Training Institute in Pagoh were stricken with what was described as a mild case of food poisoning this past week. According to a May 16th report in The New Straits Times, 100 trainees at the Institute complained of stomach pain in the middle of the night. The students, who were told to rest, had eaten noodles, nasi lemak, chicken curry and a variety of vegetables in the Institute canteen. Health authorities are investigating the source of the outbreak, but the canteen was allowed to remain open.

The Malaysian National News Agency reported the same day that 289 trainees at the Institut Kemahiran Belia Negara (Malaysian for National Youth Skill Training Institute) in Pagoh complained of stomach aches and diarrhea. The District's Senior Health Officer suggested that chicken curry might have been the source of the food poisoning outbreak. The Institute's canteen has been shut down, according to this report, for 2 weeks to allow for thorough clean-up.

Nanjangud, India
A catered meal is being blamed for a food poisoning outbreak that affected 150 employees – including 4 executives – of a textile factory. Employees were suffering from vomiting and diarrhea. Several of the employees were hospitalized, and three are reported to be in critical condition.

Jaipur, India
Leftover food is thought to be responsible for a food poisoning outbreak in the village of Dausa. At least 46 people were hospitalized – 15 of the in critical condition – with symptoms that included stomach aches, diarrhea and vomiting. The victims had been given leftover food from a religious festival that had been held the previous day. The food had been kept overnight without refrigeration.

Yekaterinburg, Russia
Nineteen attendees, including 17 children, at the "Earth is Our Common Home" festival were stricken with acute gastroenteritis while attending the closing gala. The children were hospitalized, but are in satisfactory condition.

Mahottari, Nepal
Three members of one family are dead after eating food that had been prepared using 2-year old vanaspati ghee, a hydrogenated vegetable fat. Seven other people who shared the meal also were sickened, but are recovering.

Shelby County, Texas, USA
More than 70 attendees at a May 2nd fund raising event in Center, Texas (Shelby County) were infected with Salmonella as a result of eating home-made ice cream. One of the victims was hospitalized with kidney failure as a result of the Salmonella infection, but has since recovered.

Princeton, New Jersey, USA
The tally of victims at Princeton University has risen to 28 people – 20 students and 8 staff members. Salmonella is the culprit, but the source of the outbreak is still undetermined. One food venue has been "associated" with the outbreak, and has been closed.

Catered food, stale food, and public events are common themes in many of the outbreaks that we visit around the world. It's always wise to be aware of the possibility of contamination when a stranger's hands prepare the food we eat.

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