Focus Taiwan App

3 more cases reported in Taipei food poisoning outbreak

03/30/2024 08:52 PM
To activate the text-to-speech service, please first agree to the privacy policy below.
Authorities conduct a search inside the Taipei food court where Polam Kopitiam is situated. CNA photo March 29
Authorities conduct a search inside the Taipei food court where Polam Kopitiam is situated. CNA photo March 29

Taipei, March 30 (CNA) Three more people have fallen ill from an ongoing food poisoning outbreak in Taipei, with the number of affected individuals reaching 28, the Ministry of Health and Welfare said Saturday afternoon.

According to Deputy Health Minister Victor Wang (王必勝), the three new individuals who fell ill all dined at the Xinyi branch of the Malaysian restaurant chain Polam Kopitiam in Taipei, where all but one of the 28 people stricken by food poisoning symptons visited.

The only exception to date has been an individual who got sick after eating at the restaurant's Raohe branch.

As of 5:30 p.m., among the 28 people who fell ill, 24 sought medical attention in the Greater Taipei area and Tainan after visiting the restaurant between March 19 and March 24, according to Centers for Disease Control (CDC) figures.

Of the 28, two people who ate at the restaurant on March 19 and March 22 have died, five are still in intensive care, and two remain hospitalized.

As of Saturday, central government health authorities had yet to pinpoint how Bongkrekic acid, a toxin found in the two deceased and six others who fell severely ill, got into their systems.

Wang said Friday that health officials had conducted tests on 19 food samples from the restaurant and its suppliers, including two types of rice noodles -- flat rice noodles and vermicelli -- and pandan leaves, and they all tested negative for Bongkrekic acid.

Another 10 samples of rice noodles from suppliers also tested negative for the toxin, Wang said Saturday.

The focus of the investigation remained on rice noodles, which the 27 diners from the Xinyi branch who fell ill all consumed, Wang said, adding that it was unlikely that Bongkrekic acid was intentionally added to the food at the restaurant.

Meanwhile, CDC spokesperson Tseng Shu-hui (曾淑慧) told reporters during a conference call that the restaurant has a total of three branches -- the Xinyi branch, the Raohe branch and the Taipei Main Station branch.

Tseng urged anyone who dined at the three restaurants between March 19 and March 26 and experienced symptoms such as diarrhea to report their cases.

She said that among the 19 individuals with mild symptoms, half of them have expressed a willingness to undergo testing.

At the same time, the Food and Drug Administration is concurrently examining if other common pathogens were involved, including Vibrio parahaemolyticus, salmonella, pathogenic Escherichia coli, staphylococcus aureus, clostridium perfringens, vibrio cholerae, and clostridium botulinum, she said.

(By Shen Pei-yao and Evelyn Yang)


Related News

Q&A/Four things to know about Bongkrekic acid

March 30: 2 conditions required for Bongkrekic acid to become lethal: Doctor

March 29: Owner of restaurant chain at center of food poisoning outbreak apologizes

March 29: Bongkrekic acid found in 8 food poisoning cases; none in food samples

March 28: Three staff members at food poisoning restaurant banned from leaving Taiwan

March 27: Taipei restaurant chain closed amid probe into suspected food poisoning deaths

March 27: Suspected food poisoning outbreak in Taipei restaurant leaves one dead

    We value your privacy.
    Focus Taiwan (CNA) uses tracking technologies to provide better reading experiences, but it also respects readers' privacy. Click here to find out more about Focus Taiwan's privacy policy. When you close this window, it means you agree with this policy.