A 15-year-old shop selling roast duck in Miaoli County’s Toufen Township (頭份) has been fined and temporarily shut after more than 140 people fell ill last week after consuming duck bought from the shop.
The Miaoli County Public Health Bureau said that more than 140 people visited local hospitals after developing symptoms of food poisoning, including vomiting, diarrhea or a fever, after consuming roast duck bought from the store on Sept. 10 and last week.
The hospital where some of the people were hospitalized found salmonella bacteria in their stool samples and reported the cases to the health bureau.
Photo: Tsai Cheng-min, Taipei Times
The bureau on Tuesday last week sent investigators to collect samples from the shop.
As of Monday evening, the bureau said it had received 13 case reports concerning 143 people — including several family groups — who had allegedly developed food poisoning after eating duck meat from the shop and had notified the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
Lab test results received on Monday confirmed the shop’s duck meat was contaminated by salmonella bacteria and a sample collected from the shop’s cutting board had Bacillus cereus bacterium.
“The shop owner did not carry out thorough disinfection procedures after handling raw duck carcasses, and the roasted ducks may have been exposed to the cleaver, cutting board or other tools [contaminated by the raw ducks], causing cross-contamination,” bureau Deputy Director Yang Wen-chih (楊文志) said.
The bureau fined the shop owner NT$60,000, ordered the shop temporarily closed for disinfection, and ordered all the shop’s raw duck parts and roasted ducks to be destroyed.
The shop will be allowed to reopen after all the procedures have been followed and the bureau inspects it again, the bureau said.
Common symptoms of food poisoning caused by salmonella bacteria are stomachaches, diarrhea, shivering, fever, nausea and vomiting, but people who contract salmonella poisoning usually recover after about three days, it said.
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