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82 HS students sick after eating tainted rice balls

Date Posted: 2012-08-10

A food kiosk near the Chubu Commercial High School is being labeled the culprit in 82 high school students coming down sick after eating rice balls and sandwiches served during a four-day period last month.

Okinawa Prefecture Environment and Living Division personnel say students at the Ginowan City high school showed symptoms of food poisoning, including vomiting, stomachache and diarrhea. Tests of feces showed norovirus detected in at least six students. The students became sick between July 19th and 23rd after eating foods from the kiosk.

Authorities say all students are now recovering, and none required hospitalization. Administrative sanctions, including a ‘stop business’ order, has been levied against the kiosk this month. Hygiene education for the kiosk staff, and disinfection in the facility has been mandated by the prefecture. Prefecture officials say prevention of viral transmissions can be enhanced by washing hands after using the bathroom and before cooking, disinfecting cooking tools with hot water and sodium hypochlorite bleaching agent, and using enough heat when cooking.

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