More than 100 wedding attendees hospitalized for suspected food poisoning

In India, dozens were hospitalized over the weekend after suspected food poisoning at a wedding on May 17.

The Hindu newspaper reported that as many as 135 guests had been hospitalized, many of them children, although the exact figure was unknown.

The wedding took place in Karadhi, Malappuram District, Kerala. The next day, many of the guests began to develop symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting and fever, and many were hospitalized on May 19, according to health officials. No one is in critical condition.

More than 100 guests were hospitalized after a wedding in Kerala, India. Many of them are children and none are in critical condition.m-gucci/getty

Symptoms of food poisoning can begin within hours of ingesting contaminated food, according to the CDC. However, this depends on the bacteria ingested. For example, symptoms include: vibrio Oral ingestion, including watery diarrhea, vomiting, and fever, usually begins within 24 hours of eating the infected food (usually raw or undercooked shellfish). Listeria monocytogenes Poisoning may take up to 2 weeks to develop.

Food poisoning is often associated with raw meat, dairy and shellfish, but fruits, vegetables and even water can be contaminated. Health officials investigated the facility where the latest incident occurred and found that the food poisoning was likely caused by a contaminated water source.

District Medical Director Dr. R. Renuka urged people to exercise caution when using well water, tap water and ice in the area. “Illnesses such as hepatitis B, typhoid and cholera can easily spread if special precautions are not taken,” she said in a statement. “Drinking clean water is the best way to prevent diarrhea and related illnesses.”

Last Wednesday’s wedding wasn’t the only mass food poisoning incident last week, according to local reports. About 60 attendees of a wedding in a nearby district on Sunday afternoon, including pregnant women, were hospitalized with food poisoning they blamed on fish curry.

According to the CDC, there are four key steps to avoiding foodborne illness.

  • Clean: Wash hands, surfaces, and fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Keep them separate: Keep raw animal products separate from other foods in the refrigerator, and use a separate cutting board for raw meat.
  • Cook: Food should be cooked at a temperature high enough to kill the bacteria inside that can cause disease. The best way to do this is to use a food thermometer or microwave the food until hot, following the recommendations on the package instructions.
  • Chill: Bacteria grow rapidly at room temperature, so it’s important to refrigerate food immediately to slow growth.

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