A Food Poisoning Outbreak in a Primary School, Taitung County, 2012 May

Chih-Wei Chang1、Evonne Su1、Jen-Hsin Wang1、Jiunn-Shyan Julian Wu1、Ching-Fen Ko2、Wang-Chin Cheng1、Huai-Te Tsai3

2012 Vol.28 NO.20

Correspondence Author: Chih-Wei Chang

  • 1. Sixth Branch, Centers for Diseases Control, Taiwan
  • 2. Third Branch, Centers for Diseases Control, Taiwan
  • 3. Fourth Branch, Centers for Diseases Control, Taiwan


A reported of over 100 students with diarrhea between May 9th and 10th was received on May 10, 2012. To response, the local Bureau of Health and the Sixth Branch of Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC) initiated the epidemiologic investigation, collected specimens from cases of school students, kitchen workers, suspected food items and water. This outbreak affected a total of 164 students and 97.0% of them only had a single diarrhea. The test results showed rectal swabs from two students with Staphylococcus aureus, a food item with Bacillus cereus and a kitchen cooking water detected Bacillus cereus. Therefore we can not infer a single pathogen causing the food poisoning. Recommendations to the school in the future should actively strengthen the prevention education such as "the school lunch supply health", "washing hands as a good habit" and "environmental cleaning and disinfection". Also, the local health centers should intensify epidemiologic investigation techniques, to enable rapid intervention when a cluster occurs, immediately grasp the correct and detailed information.