30 staff at Hong Kong public hospital fall ill with diarrhoea, vomiting after eating canteen food

About 30 staff members at a Hong Kong public hospital have had to take sick leave due to diarrhoea and vomiting they experienced after eating food from on-site canteens, prompting the institution to file a report to health authorities.

Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital in Chai Wan said on Wednesday night it received reports from staff who were experiencing symptoms of gastroenteritis after consuming the food at lunchtime, causing them to stop work.

A number of different departments were affected, the hospital said.

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A spokesman for the hospital said the case had been reported to the Centre for Health Protection, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department and the Hospital Authority’s head office via the advanced incident reporting system.

“The hospital is very concerned about the cases,” the spokesman said.

“As prudent measures, the hospital has instructed the canteen services contractor to arrange deep cleansing in the two canteens. The hospital canteens will be closed [on Wednesday] to continue deep cleansing.”

He added that staff common areas and toilets would be disinfected, with the hospital’s infection control team gathering further information from those who fell ill.

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