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141 people food-poisoned after eating tainted oyster in Macao
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A total of 141 people in Macao were food-poisoned after eating polluted raw oysters in local restaurants, the Special Administration Region's health authorities announced on Monday.

The food-poisoning outbreak was firstly reported on August 28 when a number of people fell sick after eating raw oysters served in a buffet restaurant in the Venetian Macao Resort, and more cases were later reported in restaurants in the Sands Hotel, Golden Dragon Hotel and the Macao Tower, according to the SAR's Disease Control and Prevention Center of the Macao Health Bureau ( SSM).

The SSM said in its latest press release that eight new cases were reported on Monday, the victims of which dined in the four restaurants mentioned above and ate raw oysters, but it also confirmed that those victims have fully recovered from the illness.

The problem oysters served in the four restaurants came from the same supplier in Hong Kong, according to the SSM, which has ordered the four eateries to stop providing raw oysters at their buffets.

The food-poisoning was caused by Norwalk virus that was communicable through food, vomit, and excreta among human beings, said the SSM, adding that the victims comprised locals as well as tourists from Hong Kong and elsewhere.

Earlier, a spokesman for Hong Kong SAR's Center for Food Safety told the media that they have made initial contacts with the supplier, Pearlwin Limited, and "requested them to supply information on the quantity and distribution of the concerned oysters to facilitate the tracing of the source and distribution outlets".

The SSM said that it will strengthen cooperation with its counterpart in Hong Kong and the local Civil and Municipal Affairs Bureau to tackle the issue.

(Xinhua News Agency September 9, 2008)

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