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36 Hospitalised For Suspected Food Poisoning In Saudi Arabia

Thirty-six people were hospitalised in a Saudi governorate after suffering suspected food poisoning, a Saudi media report said.

The cases were recorded in the Abu Arish governorate, part of the Jizan Province in south-western Saudi Arabia, on Wednesday after the victims had a meal at a local fast food restaurant, the Saudi news portal Ajel said.

The report, citing unidentified sources, added that medical teams had taken all appropriate procedures to treat the victims and check on their health condition.

There was no immediate comment from authorities on the report.

In late April, 75 people were hospitalised due to food poisoning at a restaurant in Riyadh, an incident that resulted in one death. They included 69 Saudi citizens and six expatriates, health authorities said at the time.

On April 25, authorities in Riyadh reported detecting several food poisoning cases traced back to a restaurant.

The Riyadh mayoralty said a report compiled by an epidemiological investigation committee had blamed a food establishment in Riyadh for the incident. The poisoning was found to have been caused by meals served by the outlet.

The mayoralty said it had shut down the main supply facility of the establishment in question and all its branches in Riyadh and the neighbouring city of Al Kharj.

The Riyadh incident prompted authorities to tighten hygienic rules for facilities serving food.

Instructions include barring female workers at restaurants and food stores from wearing false nails, eyelashes and polishes in a precaution to head off food contamination.

The Saudi Ministry of Municipal, Rural Affairs and Housing has also banned wearing perfumes and after-shave products near exposed foodstuffs such as meat or dairy products to stave off contamination, the Saudi news portal Akhbar24 reported.

Also prohibited is wearing jewellery, earrings or wristwatches that are not tightly fixed, as they are deemed depositories of bacteria and dirt, and a source of contamination. Wearing one-piece circular earrings in pierced ears or a non-chiseled ring is allowed, though.

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