Over the past year, more than 220 outbreaks were reported to the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) in Hong Kong. 

The CFS of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department received 229 reports of food poisoning linked to businesses that ended up affecting 632 people. Although under 200 outbreaks were reported in 2019, more people fell ill than in 2020. 

The number of outbreaks linked to takeout food increased from 36, or 19.5 percent of the total, sickening 236 people in 2019 to 128, or 55.9 percent, affecting 331 people in 2020. The increase was mainly because of one incident, which was traced to sandwiches. 

Unsurprisingly, the agency noted that since the pandemic, takeout food has become more popular among consumers. 

In 2020, the leading cause remained bacterial foodborne agents, causing 90 percent of outbreaks, with three-quarters of that number caused by Salmonella, followed by Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Bacillus cereus

Viruses accounted for 7 percent of all incidents, mostly involving norovirus. The remaining foodborne illness outbreaks were caused by natural toxin cases such as mushroom toxins and ciguatera. Chemicals such as calcium oxalate poisoning also contributed.

Source: Food Safety News