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South Taiwan restaurant patrons report food poisoning from LNY take-out meals

15 out of 30 members of a family suffer from diarrhea allegedly after eating lobster

File photo of a lobster. (Pixabay photo)

File photo of a lobster. (Pixabay photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — After a family ordered a take-out Lunar New Year (LNY) meal from a Yunlin County restaurant on Wednesday (Feb. 2), 15 out of 30 people suffered from food poisoning, triggering an inspection by the Public Health Bureau.

A man surnamed Wang (王) told CNA that 30 people in his family had gathered to celebrate LNY together, and ordered food including lobster, fish, and soup from a restaurant in Huwei Township. As the restaurant offered take-out only, some dishes had to be re-heated.

Later that night, a few family members began to suffer from stomachaches and diarrhea, and by Friday (Feb. 4), 15 people had had to visit a hospital or clinic to get treated; three were hospitalized. Wang lamented that his family’s LNY holiday was “ruined” by the incident.

He suspected that the restaurant’s lobsters had been contaminated, as those who reported symptoms had all eaten lobster.

According to the Yunlin County Public Health Bureau, as the Wang family had ordered food from other restaurants on Wednesday, and inspectors were unable to get a sample for testing, the exact reason behind the incident remains to be determined. The bureau has not yet issued penalties to the restaurant and will conduct inspections first.

When the restaurant posted about the incident on Facebook, patrons who ordered food on the same day responded with reports of more cases of vomiting and diarrhea, CNA reported. The restaurant apologized, said it had contacted the public health bureau about the issue and promised to cooperate with the public health bureau for inspection as well as to actively investigate the source of food poisoning.