An Outbreak of Food-borne Illness Due to Methomyl Contamination

Ming Jun Tsai, Sheng-Nan Wu, Hsien An Cheng, Shu Hui Wang, Hung Ting Chiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background. On December 26, 2002, 124 dinners took ill while eating lunch at a seafood restaurant in the town of Chiching in Kaohsiung municipality of Taiwan. Sixty-nine people were sent to the emergency departments of the Municipal Chiching Hospital and Yuan's General Hospital. Methods. We analyzed the clinical symptoms, detailed food history, and ingested amount of each food from 59 hospitalized adult patients and identified the source of the outbreak. Results. The median latency period from beginning eating to first symptoms was 5 min. Twenty-six symptoms and signs were recorded. The most commonly reported clinical effects were general weakness (84%), ataxia (82%), dizziness (82%), vomiting (80%), sweating (75%), floating sensation (71%), headache (69%), dyspnea (69%), and blurred vision (67%). Thirty-one patients had residual symptoms 7 days after ingestion. Of the six residual symptoms reported, the most frequent ones were dizziness (40%), poor appetite and dry mouth (11%), and gastrointestinal disturbance (11%). The presence of residual symptoms correlated with the severity of the initial complaints (p < 0.01). Almost all patients ate cooked rice (93%) and leaf vegetable stir-fried with crab claw (93%). The amount of each food eaten by the patients was not associated with the severity of symptoms (p > 0.05). High levels of methomyl in leaf vegetables of "leaf vegetables stir-fried with crab claws" (380 ppm) and fried mussels (1113 ppm) were found by the Food Inspection Center at the Department of Health. The food history and chemical analysis of the poison indicated methomyl was the cause of this outbreak. Twenty-four patients recovered completely within 7 days. Conclusion. Food-related methomyl intoxication produced a rapid onset of significant clinical toxicity in 124 individuals. Based on the analysis of 55 adult patients, the most common effects were gait ataxia, dizziness, generalized weakness, and vomiting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)969-973
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Toxicology - Clinical Toxicology
Volume41
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Dec 1

Fingerprint

Methomyl
Foodborne Diseases
Disease Outbreaks
Dizziness
Contamination
Food
Eating
Vegetables
Vomiting
Food Inspection
Gait Ataxia
Municipal Hospitals
Restaurants
Hoof and Claw
Seafood
Lunch
Sweating
Poisons
Bivalvia
Appetite

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

Cite this

Tsai, Ming Jun ; Wu, Sheng-Nan ; Cheng, Hsien An ; Wang, Shu Hui ; Chiang, Hung Ting. / An Outbreak of Food-borne Illness Due to Methomyl Contamination. In: Journal of Toxicology - Clinical Toxicology. 2003 ; Vol. 41, No. 7. pp. 969-973.
@article{ee39b6c4762f445ea2e5d42b941b80f0,
title = "An Outbreak of Food-borne Illness Due to Methomyl Contamination",
abstract = "Background. On December 26, 2002, 124 dinners took ill while eating lunch at a seafood restaurant in the town of Chiching in Kaohsiung municipality of Taiwan. Sixty-nine people were sent to the emergency departments of the Municipal Chiching Hospital and Yuan's General Hospital. Methods. We analyzed the clinical symptoms, detailed food history, and ingested amount of each food from 59 hospitalized adult patients and identified the source of the outbreak. Results. The median latency period from beginning eating to first symptoms was 5 min. Twenty-six symptoms and signs were recorded. The most commonly reported clinical effects were general weakness (84{\%}), ataxia (82{\%}), dizziness (82{\%}), vomiting (80{\%}), sweating (75{\%}), floating sensation (71{\%}), headache (69{\%}), dyspnea (69{\%}), and blurred vision (67{\%}). Thirty-one patients had residual symptoms 7 days after ingestion. Of the six residual symptoms reported, the most frequent ones were dizziness (40{\%}), poor appetite and dry mouth (11{\%}), and gastrointestinal disturbance (11{\%}). The presence of residual symptoms correlated with the severity of the initial complaints (p < 0.01). Almost all patients ate cooked rice (93{\%}) and leaf vegetable stir-fried with crab claw (93{\%}). The amount of each food eaten by the patients was not associated with the severity of symptoms (p > 0.05). High levels of methomyl in leaf vegetables of {"}leaf vegetables stir-fried with crab claws{"} (380 ppm) and fried mussels (1113 ppm) were found by the Food Inspection Center at the Department of Health. The food history and chemical analysis of the poison indicated methomyl was the cause of this outbreak. Twenty-four patients recovered completely within 7 days. Conclusion. Food-related methomyl intoxication produced a rapid onset of significant clinical toxicity in 124 individuals. Based on the analysis of 55 adult patients, the most common effects were gait ataxia, dizziness, generalized weakness, and vomiting.",
author = "Tsai, {Ming Jun} and Sheng-Nan Wu and Cheng, {Hsien An} and Wang, {Shu Hui} and Chiang, {Hung Ting}",
year = "2003",
month = "12",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1081/CLT-120026519",
language = "English",
volume = "41",
pages = "969--973",
journal = "Clinical Toxicology",
issn = "1556-3650",
publisher = "Informa Healthcare",
number = "7",

}

An Outbreak of Food-borne Illness Due to Methomyl Contamination. / Tsai, Ming Jun; Wu, Sheng-Nan; Cheng, Hsien An; Wang, Shu Hui; Chiang, Hung Ting.

In: Journal of Toxicology - Clinical Toxicology, Vol. 41, No. 7, 01.12.2003, p. 969-973.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - An Outbreak of Food-borne Illness Due to Methomyl Contamination

AU - Tsai, Ming Jun

AU - Wu, Sheng-Nan

AU - Cheng, Hsien An

AU - Wang, Shu Hui

AU - Chiang, Hung Ting

PY - 2003/12/1

Y1 - 2003/12/1

N2 - Background. On December 26, 2002, 124 dinners took ill while eating lunch at a seafood restaurant in the town of Chiching in Kaohsiung municipality of Taiwan. Sixty-nine people were sent to the emergency departments of the Municipal Chiching Hospital and Yuan's General Hospital. Methods. We analyzed the clinical symptoms, detailed food history, and ingested amount of each food from 59 hospitalized adult patients and identified the source of the outbreak. Results. The median latency period from beginning eating to first symptoms was 5 min. Twenty-six symptoms and signs were recorded. The most commonly reported clinical effects were general weakness (84%), ataxia (82%), dizziness (82%), vomiting (80%), sweating (75%), floating sensation (71%), headache (69%), dyspnea (69%), and blurred vision (67%). Thirty-one patients had residual symptoms 7 days after ingestion. Of the six residual symptoms reported, the most frequent ones were dizziness (40%), poor appetite and dry mouth (11%), and gastrointestinal disturbance (11%). The presence of residual symptoms correlated with the severity of the initial complaints (p < 0.01). Almost all patients ate cooked rice (93%) and leaf vegetable stir-fried with crab claw (93%). The amount of each food eaten by the patients was not associated with the severity of symptoms (p > 0.05). High levels of methomyl in leaf vegetables of "leaf vegetables stir-fried with crab claws" (380 ppm) and fried mussels (1113 ppm) were found by the Food Inspection Center at the Department of Health. The food history and chemical analysis of the poison indicated methomyl was the cause of this outbreak. Twenty-four patients recovered completely within 7 days. Conclusion. Food-related methomyl intoxication produced a rapid onset of significant clinical toxicity in 124 individuals. Based on the analysis of 55 adult patients, the most common effects were gait ataxia, dizziness, generalized weakness, and vomiting.

AB - Background. On December 26, 2002, 124 dinners took ill while eating lunch at a seafood restaurant in the town of Chiching in Kaohsiung municipality of Taiwan. Sixty-nine people were sent to the emergency departments of the Municipal Chiching Hospital and Yuan's General Hospital. Methods. We analyzed the clinical symptoms, detailed food history, and ingested amount of each food from 59 hospitalized adult patients and identified the source of the outbreak. Results. The median latency period from beginning eating to first symptoms was 5 min. Twenty-six symptoms and signs were recorded. The most commonly reported clinical effects were general weakness (84%), ataxia (82%), dizziness (82%), vomiting (80%), sweating (75%), floating sensation (71%), headache (69%), dyspnea (69%), and blurred vision (67%). Thirty-one patients had residual symptoms 7 days after ingestion. Of the six residual symptoms reported, the most frequent ones were dizziness (40%), poor appetite and dry mouth (11%), and gastrointestinal disturbance (11%). The presence of residual symptoms correlated with the severity of the initial complaints (p < 0.01). Almost all patients ate cooked rice (93%) and leaf vegetable stir-fried with crab claw (93%). The amount of each food eaten by the patients was not associated with the severity of symptoms (p > 0.05). High levels of methomyl in leaf vegetables of "leaf vegetables stir-fried with crab claws" (380 ppm) and fried mussels (1113 ppm) were found by the Food Inspection Center at the Department of Health. The food history and chemical analysis of the poison indicated methomyl was the cause of this outbreak. Twenty-four patients recovered completely within 7 days. Conclusion. Food-related methomyl intoxication produced a rapid onset of significant clinical toxicity in 124 individuals. Based on the analysis of 55 adult patients, the most common effects were gait ataxia, dizziness, generalized weakness, and vomiting.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0346103792&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0346103792&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1081/CLT-120026519

DO - 10.1081/CLT-120026519

M3 - Article

C2 - 14705843

AN - SCOPUS:0346103792

VL - 41

SP - 969

EP - 973

JO - Clinical Toxicology

JF - Clinical Toxicology

SN - 1556-3650

IS - 7

ER -