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Discovery Bay restaurant in hot water for food alert

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The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) called for diners to be more vigilant when eating out.

In an update on investigations into suspected food poisoning clusters in the restaurant in question, announced on April 19, the CHP identified six additional clusters affecting a total of 22 persons, including 11 males and 11 females between 1 and 64 years of age.

Those affected developed diarrhoea, abdominal pain, fever and vomiting for five hours to nearly three days, after consuming food at the restaurant on April 15 and 16. 15 of them sought medical attention, one of whom has been discharged from the hospital. All were in stable condition as of April 22, Friday. Stool specimens from two of the affected tested positive for Salmonella.

While there is no mention of the establishment’s name in the report, a number of community Facebook groups have singled out Zaks restaurant as the restaurant under investigation.

The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department had been alerted to the incident and have been looking into it further, according to a spokesperson for the Department of Health. The CHP reminded the public to maintain personal, food and environmental hygiene to prevent food-borne diseases.

It advises the public to avoid eating raw seafood and to be a discerning in choosing cold dishes, including sashimi, sushi and raw oysters. It also admonishes diners to ensure food is thoroughly cooked before eating during hot pots or barbecues, to handle raw and cooked foods carefully and separate them completely during the cooking process, and to use two sets of chopsticks and eating utensils to handle raw and cooked food.

In addition, the CHP recommends patronising only reliable and licensed restaurants and avoiding illegal food hawkers, as well as drinking boiled water. Using salt, vinegar, wine and wasabi to kill bacteria is ineffective and should not be relied on. Above all, diners must always wash hands before eating and after using the washroom.

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