Tainan looking into suspected food poisoning at hotel banquet hall
Tainan, Sept. 26 (CNA) A suspected case of mass food poisoning at a hotel banquet hall in Tainan is being investigated following reports of at least 79 people falling ill after eating there over the weekend, the city's Public Health Bureau said Monday.
The bureau said in a statement that the 79 people who had sought medical attention as of Sunday evening presented such symptoms as vomiting and diarrhea after they ate at the Silks Place Tainan hotel on Sept. 24.
An estimated 1,100 people ate at the hotel's banquet hall that day, the bureau said, and Tainan health officials have collected food and blood samples from banquet hall and its workers to be analyzed and determine the source of the problem.
The bureau said the results of the food and blood analyses will be ready in about a week.
The hotel could be subject to fines of between NT$60,000 (US$1,884) and NT$200 million if its food was found to be contaminated with infectious organisms, the bureau said.
Yao Ming-ying (姚明瑩), a senior marketing manager at Silks Place Tainan, said the banquet hall hosted four separate banquets totaling about 120 tables from noon to Saturday night.
Samples of the meals served at the banquets have been handed over to health officials for testing, said Yao, who suggested that the suspected food poisoning could also be linked to restaurant workers.
According to Yao, the hotel is looking into the health conditions of the roughly 30 kitchen staff and 40 servers who were on duty that day.
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