Sixteen more people are suspected to have suffered from food poisoning after eating sandwiches made by the Horng Ryen Jen Cake and Biscuits Store in Taiwan, Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection (CHP) said.
After announcing four similar cases on July 31, the CHP said its further investigations revealed that additional clusters of suspected cases of food poisoning were also related to consumption of sandwiches made by the firm, Ming Pao Daily reported Monday.
The sandwiches had either been ordered online or bought from a supermarket in Kowloon Bay or exhibition booths in Kowloon City and Ma On Shan between July 26 and 29, the CHP said.
The newly reported clusters involved seven males and nine females aged three to 69.
They developed symptoms including diarrhea, abdominal pain and vomiting about five to 29 hours after consuming the sandwiches.
Among the newly found victims, 10 had seen a doctor.
Four of them had to be hospitalized, of whom three have been discharged.
All are in stable condition.
The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department warned the public not to consume the sandwiches and said businesses should stop using or selling them immediately.
The CFS said it will continue to liaise with the Taiwanese authorities and local firms to trace the source of the contaminated food and take appropriate action.
Under the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance, all food for sale in Hong Kong, whether locally produced or imported, should be fit for human consumption.
An offender could face a fine of up to HK$50,000 (US$6,450) and up to six months in jail.
Meanwhile, Horng Ryen Jen, based in Taichung in central Taiwan, denied any responsibility in all of the alleged food poisoning cases found in Hong Kong, saying it had not supplied sandwiches directly overseas.
Taiwan’s food safety authorities said they have been working with their Hong Kong counterparts to look into the cause of the suspected food poisoning.
– Contact us at [email protected]