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Volume 33, Number 1, March 2000

An outbreak of Salmonella infection after a Chinese year-end party in central Taiwan

Kai-Lin Hwang, Tzuu-Guang Young, Nan-Ying Chiu, Huey-Ching Horng, Min-Kai Kou
Department of Medical Research, Changhua Christian Hospital, Taiwan, ROC



An outbreak of food poisoning caused by Salmonella O7 serogroup C1 and O8 serogroup C2, occurred in Taichung City after a Chinese year-end buffet party with 127 attendees including employees, relatives and guests of the Psychiatry Department of Changhua Christian Hospital (CCH). Among the 114 attendees interviewed, 96 (84.2%) reported developing symptoms within 120 h after the dinner on February 4, 1999. The time of onset ranged from 2 h to 101 h after the dinner with an average of 20 +/- 16 h. The median and mode incubation periods were 17 h and 16 h, respectively. Salmonella C1 and C2 serogroups were isolated from the stool samples of 45 attendees. Based on the results of interview questionnaire, the most likely contaminated food was eel kabayaki (OR = 4.8, 95% CI:1.6-14.9, p < 0.01) followed by baked mussels (OR = 4.04, 95% CI:1.3-12.1, p = 0.01). However, this result could not be confirmed by food sample investigation due to the lack of leftover food. Possible techniques for the prevention of food-borne disease transmission, enhancement of communication about foodborne disease outbreaks within the health reporting system, and the reduction of response time during an outbreak of infection are required.


J Microbiol Immunol Infect 2000;33:39-44.