Taipei, Dec. 13 (CNA) More than 70 Japanese students visiting Taiwan on a school trip have been hospitalized after suffering diarrhea and vomiting in a suspected case of mass food poisoning, the Taipei City Department of Health said Friday.
The incident occurred the previous day, and 72 out of some 200 students had to be taken to three different hospitals in Taipei for treatment, the department said.
The students had earlier had a breakfast buffet at their hotel in Taoyuan before arriving in Taipei at around noon, when a group of them started feeling ill, the city's health authority said in a statement.
According to local news reports, the students are sophomores from Tohoku High School in Japan.
The city's health department noted that it had requested Taoyuan's Department of Public Health to take samples of the food served at the hotel that morning for analysis.
If the samples are found to be contaminated, the hotel could face a fine ranging from NT$60,000 to NT$200 million for violating the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation, the department said.
As of press time, 59 of the students had been discharged from hospital, while the 13 others remained for further observation.