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Food Poisoning Outbreak in Turbah, Saudi Arabia, 16th January 2017(1438 H)


On January16 2017, an outbreak of food poisoning began in Turbah province, Taif City. The objective of the study is to conduct a contact investigation to assess the magnitude of the outbreak among cases and demonstrate the food item responsible for the outbreak and determine the source of infection.


A descriptive study has been conducted to investigate food poisoning outbreak. We defined a case as every person who had eaten from the mama nuora restaurant on Sunday 15th of January 2017 and had developed within 9-72 hours any gastrointestinal tract symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, or fever. Interview-administered and MOH questionnaire was used to extract relevant information from cases. The process of data entry and analysis in current study were done using Excel and Epi Info version 7 software. We inspected the adequacy of hygienic condition of restaurant.


A total of 145 persons were infected. Among them, there were 93 males (64.14%) and 52 females (35.86%). Their ages ranged between 4 - 62 years with a mean of 30.7 years and STDĀ± 12.7. The majority of the identified cases 130 (89 .66%) were Saudi nationals and only 15 (10.34 %) was non-Saudi. Out of all the cases, 136 (97.79%) developed diarrhea, 113 (77.93%) abdominal pain,73(50.34%) fever, 35(24.13%) vomiting, and no body developed bloody diarrhea. In addition, Salmonella was isolated from 25 out of 55 samples (45%) of cases who were admitted.


Salmonella form the most food borne pathogens that commonly affect millions of people every year - sometimes with severe and fatal outcomes. Need for effective education of food handlers about prepare, preserve and transport food should be strictly enforced. Coordinate with other Saudi authorities to intensify supervision of restaurants and food handlers and increase the periodic checkup of food handlers, with their health certificate to be issued quarterly were also recommended.