Chinese city orders restaurants not to serve raw fish, crustaceans.HONG KONG, Sept. 1 Kyodo
The southern Chinese city of Guangzhou has warned restaurants not to serve raw and partly cooked freshwater fish, shrimp or crab due to fear of infections of parasites such as liver fluke, Hong Kong
media reported Friday.
An order was issued Wednesday for restaurants to not serve such food or the risk of being punished by law.
The Ming Pao daily quoted Xiong Yuanda, vice chief of the Guangzhou Health Bureau in Guangdong Province, ''We have taken administrative measures because of a series of food-poisoning cases in Beijing earlier.''
Last week, at least 87 people fell ill after eating raw or half-cooked snails contaminated with parasites at a Beijing restaurant.
The snails were found to have parasite Angiostrongylus cantonensis, which could cause a rare type of meningitis.
''Snails don't have a large market in Guangzhou. But some restaurants like to serve raw freshwater produce, including fish and crustaceans, which pose a bigger health threat,'' Xiong said.
Liver fluke infection does not manifest symptoms at first and can incubate incubate /in·cu·bate/ (in´ku-bat)
1. to subject to or to undergo incubation.
2. material that has undergone incubation.
1. for many years until late stages. The parasite may result in the obstruction of the bile duct, liver cirrhosis or even liver cancer.
Human infections with liver fluke are endemic in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea and countries in Southeast Asia, according to the World Health Organization.
Hong Kong's Food and Environmental Hygiene Department Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (Traditional Chinese: 食物環境衞生署), or FEHD said it does not keep records of freshwater seafood imports from mainland China as seafood is not considered to be high risk like milk or beef.
But according to a fish importer, about 80 percent of freshwater fish and crustaceans in Hong Kong come from the province's Pearl River Delta The Pearl River Delta Region (PRD) in China occupies the low-lying areas alongside the Pearl River estuary where the Pearl river flows into the South China Sea. Since the "Open Door Policy" was adopted by the Communist Party of China in the late 1970s, the portion of the delta in , Hong Kong's radio station RTHK RTHK Radio Television Hong Kong said.
Provincial health authorities estimate more than 5 million people in the province have been infected with liver fluke and the situation is the worst in China.