An investigation on a food poisoning caused by Vibrio parahaemolyticus in a restaurant, in Sichuan Province, China, 2018

  • Water or foodborne
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Background:
Vibrio parahaemolyticus is widely found in seawater and seafood. It has spread to the inland areas in recent years and has been detected in salty foods with high salt content. It has become one of a major food safety risk factor in the inland areas of China. On August 19, 2018, a hospital reported multiple patients with abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. The patients had a meal at the H restaurant before the onset of illness, in Sichuan, China. We conducted this investigation to identify the cause, the mode of transmission and prevent similar outbreaks.

Methods:
We defined a probable case as diarrhea (≥3 episodes/day) or vomiting Among the people who eat at the H restaurant on August 18, 2018,case searches were conducted by checking the outpatient logs of medical institutions in the region, interviewing restaurant practitioners, making phone calls or entering the home., analyze epidemic curves to find suspicious meals, conduct case-control studies and food hygiene surveys on suspicious meal foods, and collect case stools, anal swabs, and remaining foods for laboratory testing.

Results:
A total of 61 cases were found, the attack rate was 8.03% (61/760), and the clinical manifestations were mainly diarrhea (100%), abdominal pain (96.7%), nausea (49.2%), and vomiting (41%); the point source exposure was shown in the prevalence curve, the average incubation period was 16h, and the case-control results showed that the pig head meat (OR=3.31, 95% CI=1.08-10.17) was suspicious food; the vibrio parahaemolyticus was detected in 2 cases’ stool samples, food semi-finished pig head meat and food made with pig’s head meat. PFGE results showed that the strains were homologous。

Conclusion:
The food poisoning was caused by eating pork head contaminated by Vibrio parahaemolyticus. It is necessary to pay attention to the supervision of high-salt foods such as cured meat, and strengthen the monitoring and evaluation of the risk of Vibrio parahaemolyticus in such foods to prevent similar incidents.

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