A Food Poisoning Outbreak in a Restaurant in Chiayi City

H.Y. Kan

1994 Vol.10 NO.10

Correspondence Author:


Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a common pathogen of food-borne gastro-enteritis with significant seasonal variations; it is often more prevalent in warm seasons. It is common in Taiwan, Japan, Southeast Asia and the United States (USA). In the period between January and June 1994 in Taiwan, of the 57 food-poisoning outbreaks reported, 18 (31.6%) were caused by Vibrio parahaemolyticus (data from the Bureau of Food Sanitation, Department of Health). Since Japanese are fond of raw fish and shellfish, more than 60% of their food-borne poisonings are reportedly caused by Vibrio parahaemolyticus(1). In Florida, USA, in the period between 1981 and 1988, there had been 333 reports of Vibrio parahaemolyticus-induced gastro-enteritis. Investigation showed the primary agent of the incidents was crab. Therefore, the Florida State Health Department requires in its case reports not only information concerning the intake of sea food (raw or cooked, name of sea food), but also whether there has been any exposure to sea water during the week of onset, and whether a victim is alcoholic, has hepatitis, diabetes, has had gastric operation, immuno-deficiency, and uses anti-acid(2). In the USA there have even been reports that Vibrio parahaemolyticus induces infection of wounds, gangrene, and primary septicaemia syndromes(3). Vibrio parahaemolyticus-induced diarrheal syndromes have been reported in India(4). In colder countries such as the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, poisoning by this agent is rare, and less Vibrio parahaemolyticus is found in their sea waters and gulfs(5).