Fish vendor closed after discovery of cholera bug
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A Kowloon City fish stall was yesterday ordered to close temporarily after cholera bacteria were found in a water sample from its fish tanks. It was the first closure order issued by the Director of Food and Environmental Hygiene under new powers granted six months ago.
The water sample was taken by the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department during a routine inspection on August 20, with the results of testing only just being released. Department staff yesterday visited the stall inside To Kwa Wan Market and collected environmental swabs for more testing. They also carried out thorough cleansing and disinfection of the stall.
The stall would only be reopened 'when we are fully satisfied that the immediate health hazard on the premises has been eliminated', a department spokesman said.
The spokesman said it was the first temporary closure order issued by the department director under the Public Health and Municipal Services (Amendment) Ordinance 2002, which came into effect on February 14. Before the amendment, only the Director of Health had such power.
Ho Pak-leung, a microbiologist at the University of Hong Kong, said the activity of virbio cholerae bacteria would increase with the temperature of seawater.
He said the government should investigate whether any fish stalls or restaurants were using toilet flushing water or polluted sea water to keep live fish.