At least 80 people are sick in Chile from Salmonella after eating at a sushi restaurant.

The people affected are men and women aged from 2 to 66 years old. The first cases presented symptoms after consuming chicken sushi, shrimp and other items, at a Bokado sushi store in Maipú, a commune in Santiago Province.

A total of 16 people remain hospitalized at two health care centers in the region. Rosa Oyarce, regional health secretary, and director of El Carmen de Maipú Hospital, Dr. Juan Kehr, visited patients this past week.

Oyarce said in sushi restaurants food preparation is done in view of consumers so people need to look at the general cleanliness of the establishment, maintenance of the cold chain and be aware to avoid cross-contamination.

Officials suspect cross-contamination or a rupture in the cold chain as being the reason for the outbreak. The premises were prohibited from operating and authorities are working with the owner.

Authorities recommend people do not eat raw fish or shellfish and all seafood products should be boiled for at least five minutes to avoid gastrointestinal illness.

During 2018, 25 people became ill after eating sushi products in poor condition. There are around 200 restaurants in the region specializing in Japanese food and sushi.

Outbreak in Palma
Earlier this year in Palma, Spain almost 100 people were sick linked to eating at a Japanese restaurant.

Health officials reported 91 people were affected in the foodborne outbreak in August and 19 tested positive for Salmonella. Forty-two were women and 49 men plus seven children under 14 years old were also ill after eating at one site of Dragon Sushi.

A total of 27 sick people were aged between 15 and 20 years old; 46 of those ill were between 21 and 40 years old, and 11 were over 41 years old.

Inspectors temporarily closed the establishment on a precautionary basis in late August after people began seeking treatment at different hospital centers in Mallorca. Several structural and operational deficiencies were detected.

Symptoms of Salmonella infection can include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food. Otherwise, healthy adults are usually sick for four to seven days. In some cases, however, diarrhea may be so severe that patients require hospitalization.

Older adults, children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients, are more likely to develop a severe illness and serious, sometimes life-threatening conditions.

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