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Mazu worshipers suffer food poisoning during procession in southern Taiwan

At least 69 people fall ill after eating foods served along procession route

Food poisoning strikes Mazu procession. (CNA photo)

Food poisoning strikes Mazu procession. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — During a procession for the goddess Mazu in Pingtung County on Saturday (Dec. 2), at least 69 worshipers succumbed to food poisoning and were sent to nearby hospitals.

The procession was organized by Dajia Jenn Lann Temple in Taichung City, and it consisted of around 3,000 people who packed the streets in Pingtung's Donggang Township. Mazu pilgrims rushed forward to seek special blessings from the deity, per PTS.

At about 4 p.m. on Saturday, members of the procession began to experience symptoms such as sweating, vomiting, and diarrhea.

As of 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, of the 69 people sent to the hospital, 43 stayed for observation and 26 were released. Pingtung County Magistrate Chou Chun-mi (周春米) went to the hospital to find out more about the food poisoning.

"I have asked Fooyin University Hospital and Antai Tian-Sheng Memorial Hospital to use our medical facilities and capabilities to treat and take care of visitors as soon as possible. In the follow-up investigation, we will review the overall sanitary environment, food waste collection, and kitchen workers to find the cause of the food poisoning,” she said.

According to a preliminary investigation, some people were suspected of falling ill after eating sashimi and other foods served along the procession route.