In response to a food poisoning case that led to 20 people being hospitalized after dining at several restaurants in Longgang District on Sunday, the Henggang Subdistrict Office announced Wednesday that the illness was due to water contaminated by damaged air-conditioner pipes.
The Southern Metropolis Daily reported a food poisoning case that took place at three restaurants located in the business area of a residential complex in Henggang Subdistrict on Sunday when Super Typhoon Mangkhut slammed the city.
A total of 20 diners who ate at the three restaurants suffered from nitrite poisoning between Sunday evening and midnight Monday. Their fingernails turned black after dining at the restaurants and they were taken to a nearby hospital.
The Henggang Subdistrict Office made a statement Wednesday, announcing that the typhoon had damaged the pipes to the air-conditioners’ cooling tower and water containing excessive amounts of nitrite flowed into the pipes that supply water to the restaurants.
The chefs at the restaurants used the contaminated water to cook the food, which made the patients ill, read the statement. So far, most of the patients have been released from the hospital.
Since the water pipes for the shops are different from pipes supplying water to the residential households, residents will not be affected by the contaminated water, according to the subdistrict office.
The restaurants along the food street of the business area remained closed Wednesday. According to a notice posted on some shop gates, the business area’s property management company has been ordered to clean all of its water conservation pools.
The three restaurants where the food poisoning cases occurred were also closed with seals posted by the district’s food and drug supervision administration.
The owner of a dumpling restaurant known as Li said that he changed the water for cooking dumplings at around 3 p.m. Sunday. “After I changed the water, my customers began to feel uncomfortable and some even began to vomit before finishing their food,” said Li.
A chef from a noodle restaurant recalled that he had cooked himself a bowl of noodles at around 4 or 5 p.m. and started to feel dizzy after he finished eating.
The chef almost lost consciousness after he was taken to the hospital and was diagnosed with nitrite poisoning.