Authorities investigating severe food poisoning outbreak at NSW Central Coast hotel | Health


Almost 70 people have been struck down with food poisoning and a kitchen has been closed after an outbreak at a deluxe hotel on the New South Wales Central Coast.

NSW Health and the NSW Food Authority are investigating which food may have been contaminated after illness among many of the 230 people who attended a two-day conference held at the Crown Plaza Terrigal Pacific hotel on 30 November. More than 30 people needed emergency department treatment.

NSW Health executive director of public health, Dr Jeremy McAnulty, said anyone who felt unwell or had concerns after the conference should seek medical care, get in touch with their local public health unit, or contact conference organisers, the Aboriginal Languages Trust.

As a precaution, the hotel voluntarily closed its kitchen, which it is also required to do under the Food Act 2003. Of those with symptoms, 27 have confirmed salmonella infections.

NSW Food Authority acting director for food safety, Anthony Zammit, said there was no ongoing risk to health from the venue.

“Our compliance officers have visited the venue to collect samples and the investigation is ongoing,” he said.

Salmonella is usually spread to people through eating food from infected animals such as under-cooked meat and eggs. It can also be spread from person to person, but this type of transmission usually occurs over several weeks.

While most people recover with rest and fluids, some can experience severe infection and may require admission to hospital for rehydration. Those who are immunocompromised are particularly susceptible to more severe complications such as blood infection and inflammation of the blood vessels.

Guardian Australia has contacted the Crown Plaza Terrigal Pacific hotel for comment.

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