Traditional kimchi suspected of causing massive food poisoning

Traditional kimchi suspected of causing massive food poisoning

Kimchi, a popular dish made from fermented vegetables, is believed to have infected several students and faculty members in Namwon City. An investigation has been launched.

About 1,000 people in South Korea are suffering from food poisoning linked to kimchi, a traditional Korean dish, contaminated with norovirus, a highly contagious virus that causes diarrhea and vomiting, the health authority said Saturday, July 6. BBC.

Authorities in the southwestern city of Namwon announced Friday morning that 996 cases had been confirmed, although local media reported the number had risen to 1,024 by early Saturday afternoon.

Kimchi, a popular dish made from fermented cabbage, is currently being distributed to patients as part of school meals in the city. According to local authorities, 24 schools have been affected. Students and staff are suffering from vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.

Open investigation

Namwon city officials said they launched an epidemiological investigation to find the source of the disease on Wednesday (July 3), after reporting the first case the previous day. Since then, the number of cases has risen rapidly, from 153 on Wednesday to 745 on Thursday.

In a message posted on social media Thursday, the city's mayor, Choi Kyung-sik, stressed that health authorities had adopted a “preventive and excessive response” to try to prevent the spread of the disease.

“We will ensure the safety of our citizens,” he added.

As a result, the Disaster and Safety Administration has temporarily halted the production and sale of all of the company's products from which the contaminated kimchi originated. The company has also recalled other products that have already been distributed.

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Norovirus is the main cause of acute gastroenteritis, a particularly contagious disease that is transmitted from person to person by eating contaminated food or by contact with a contaminated environment such as surfaces, for example.

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