Outbreak Investigation of Food Poisoning Attributed to Omphalotus japonicus in a restaurant in Jianhe County, Guizhou, China, 2018

  • Water or foodborne
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Background:
On April 8th, 2018, 11 residents presented with nausea and vomiting to a local hospital, all had consumed wild mushrooms in hotpot during a dinner several hours before in the same restaurant in Jianhe County, Guizhou Province. We conducted an investigation to identify the cause, risk factors, and provide prevention and control measures.

Methods:
A case was defined as any person with two of following symptoms: vomiting, nausea, dizziness and abdominal pain among those who had a dinner in the same restaurant on April 7th. We collected information by reviewing the outpatient logs and inpatient medical records and interviewed restaurant owners, waiters and diners. A retrospective cohort study was conducted to identify the suspicious dishes. Samples of the remaining wild mushroom were collected for morphological classification.

Results:
A total of 11 cases were identified, with an attack rate of 61% (11/18). The main symptoms were vomiting (91%) and nausea (36%). The median frequency of vomiting was 4 times. The median duration of disease was 33 hours. The median incubation period was 4 hours. The attack rate of eaten wild mushroom in hot pot was 73%, comparing with those who did not eat hot pot was 0% (Fisher’s exact, P < 0.05). The more food consumption, the shorter incubation period (r=-0.635, P < 0.05), the longer duration of disease (r = 0.664, P < 0.05). The remaining samples of wild mushroom were classified as Omphalotus japonicus by morphology. It was easy to cause food poisoning by mistaking this kind of mushroom for safe mushroom.

Conclusion:
This outbreak was caused by Omphalotus japonicus mushroom served at a local restaurant. We recommended distributing public health safety information about wild mushroom poisoning in mountainous rural areas, and ask restaurants and other catering units not to provide unfamiliar wild mushroom dishes.

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