Investigation of Consecutive Families’ Food Poisoning at A Restaurant

Chen Yu-Hsin

2008 Vol.24 NO.2

Correspondence Author: Chen Yu-Hsin


In the evening of May 22, 2007, Family A dined in Restaurant A which is located in the Zuoying District. That evening, 2 of the 4 family members who dined at the restaurant showed symptoms of fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. In addition, on May 27, 2007, Family B and Family C also dined at Restaurant A. 3 of the 5 family members in Family B showed symptoms of vomiting, stomachache, and diarrhea. All of the 4 family members in Family C showed symptoms of vomiting, abdomen pains, and diarrhea after dining at the restaurant. After showing symptoms, all three families sought out medical assistance at Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital and E-Da Hospital. 2 anal swab samples were collected from Family A; 2 anal swab samples from Family B; 3 anal swabs and 1 vomitus sample was collected from Family C. The results showed that 5 anal swab samples and the 1 vomitus sample from Family A and C were positive Staphylococcus aureus with A type enterotoxin, whereas the 2 anal swab samples collected from Family B turned up negative for the bacterium. Due to the fact that Family C’s case was reported by the E-Da Hospital as an epidemic through the food poisoning report system, the Food Safety Division of Health Department of Kaohsiung County Government also collected 3 environmental samples and 1 sample from the cooking personnel’s hands which were later shown to be negative. Because the sample results for Family A and C were positive for Staphylococcus aureus with A type enterotoxin, the bacterium isolates were sent to the CDC Laboratory Research and Development Center for PFGE matching. The results confirmed the same source of food poisoning contamination. However, the samples from the restaurant showed negative in the results. In the future, additional pharynx/larynx and nasal samples can also be taken from the cooking staff in a suspected food poisoning incident in order to elevate the chances of determining the transmission source. In addition, due to the increased numbers of community Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a further antibiotics sensitivity test was conducted. The results confirmed that the bacterium involved in this incident is MSSA.
Key Words:Food poisoning, Staphylococcus aureus with A type enterotoxin, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE)