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351 workers of S.Korean firm hospitalized over suspected food poisoning in Vietnam

351 workers of S.Korean firm hospitalized over suspected food poisoning in Vietnam

Wednesday, May 15, 2024, 15:30 GMT+7
351 workers of S.Korean firm hospitalized over suspected food poisoning in Vietnam
One of the victims of a suspected food poisoning case that occurred at Shinwon Ebenezer Vietnam Co. Ltd. in northern Vietnam’s Vinh Phuc Province on May 14, 2024 is under treatment at Vinh Phuc General Hospital. Photo: Vinh Phuc General Hospital

A total of 351 workers employed by South Korean-owned Shinwon Ebenezer Vietnam Co. Ltd. were hospitalized for suspected food poisoning after they had lunch at the company on Tuesday, the firm reported.

Following the initial admission of five workers to Lac Viet Friendship Hospital in Vinh Yen City, Vinh Phuc Province, northern Vietnam, around 2:00 pm on Tuesday due to symptoms of food poisoning, additional employees became ill.

They were subsequently transported to the same facility, as well as to Vinh Phuc General Hospital and Vinh Yen Health Center, according to the company.

By 6:00 pm on the same day, 351 out of the company’s 3,298 workers who had the lunch meals had been hospitalized for treatment.

About 60 other employees were given care at the health room of the company, a maker of apparel for export located in Khai Quang Industrial Park in Vinh Yen. 

All these workers exhibited typical symptoms of food poisoning including abdomen pain and vomiting after being served with stir-fry chicken, broccoli, green bean soup, and pickled vegetables in their meals provided by the firm's canteen.

Following the incident, local health workers have taken samples of the food that was served to the workers and sent them to a lab for testing.

The Ministry of Health has requested the company to suspend the operation of its canteen and carry out an investigation into the cause of the mass hospitalization.   

Thanks to timely and intensive treatment, about 100 patients had been discharged from Lac Viet Friendship Hospital by 22:00 pm on Tuesday, Voice of Vietnam reported, citing Dr. Nguyen Nguyen Dong, director of the hospital, which had admitted some 220 victims. 

The remaining patients would likely leave the hospital by Wednesday morning, Dr. Nguyen added.  

Leaders of the Vinh Phuc administration and the provincial Department of Health have visited some patients at the three aforementioned medical facilities, and asked these health units to mobilize all possible resources to treat them effectively.  

The health ministry has asked the local health department to strengthen its direction, inspection, and supervision of food hygiene and safety at the canteens of all enterprises in the province to ensure their compliance with relevant requirements.

In recent times, many suspected and confirmed collective food poisoning incidents have been recorded in many localities of Vietnam, affecting numerous victims. 

The latest confirmed case happened in Long Khanh City, southern Dong Nai Province for several days in early May, causing 568 victims to be hospitalized after they ate banh mi – a type of Vietnamese baguette filled with cold meats, pâté, and vegetables – from a local bakery. 

The culprit of the mass food poisoning was identified to be salmonella, a common and potentially lethal pathogen, which was found in the samples of the ingredients stuffed in the banh mi taken from the bakery, according to local health authorities. 

In the first quarter, 16 confirmed food poisoning cases occurred nationwide, affecting 659 victims and killing three of them, the Vietnam News Agency reported, citing the health ministry’s data.

Compared to the same period of last year, the number of victims nearly tripled.

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Vinh Tho - Duong Lieu / Tuoi Tre News

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