Ipswich family of 10 in food poisoning outbreak

HEALTH SCARE: A Springwood restaurant has been temporarily closed as authorities investigate food poisoning.
HEALTH SCARE: A Springwood restaurant has been temporarily closed as authorities investigate food poisoning. DAVID NIELSEN

AN IPSWICH family of 10 celebrating a birthday at Chin Chin Chinese Restaurant at Springwood on Sunday is being treated at Ipswich Hospital in one of the State's biggest food poisoning outbreaks.

Metro South Health officials confirmed yesterday 110 people had taken ill after dining at the restaurant and expected the number of reported cases to increase.

A Health spokesman said the significant number of people affected, the quick onset and severity of the symptoms were "quite unique".

He said the food poisoning cases occurred Saturday, Sunday and Monday and of 150 people identified, 110 had been taken ill, with patients ranging from two years old to in their 80s.

The spokesman said traces of salmonella had been detected at the restaurant and early indications were that raw eggs were to blame for the outbreak.

The majority of patients are reported to have consumed deep fried ice-cream, which is rolled in egg batter and only fried briefly.

Logan City Council health inspectors issued a notice on Tuesday to close the restaurant temporarily.

A Yamanto woman, who asked not to be named, said her family celebrated her brother's birthday at the restaurant on Sunday night and seven adults and three children of 17 that dined at the restaurant had been hospitalised.

The children are aged five, seven and 10. The woman said other family members had milder symptoms.

Her 10-year-old son, brother and sister-in-law were taken by ambulance on Monday and were still being treated at Ipswich Hospital along with seven other members of the extended family.

Metro South Health public health physician Dr Kari Jarvinen said anyone suffering from gastro-intestinal illness should seek medical advice if symptoms did not settle promptly.

"Left untreated, people can become very sick from gastro and the longer they don't seek treatment, the more dehydrated you become and the recovery time increases," Dr Jarvinen said.

"People should take general hygiene precautions while sick such as washing their hands carefully to avoid spreading germs.

"It is important for people to stay home from work until they have recovered and have been free of symptoms for 24 hours, however if people work handling food they should wait until they have been symptom free for 48 hours."

An investigation has been launched by the Metro South Health Public Health Unit and Logan City Council.

Metro South Health public health unit said immediate action had been taken to prevent potential further illness while investigations and laboratory testing was continuing, in accordance with protocols for investigating suspected foodborne illness complaints.

The operators of the restaurant could not be contacted yesterday.

Topics:  editors picks food poisoning

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