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Red alert issued against food poisoning

SHANGHAI'S food safety authority and meteorological bureau both issued a red food poisoning alert yesterday and today to warn restaurants, canteens and lunch suppliers against bacterial outbreak in warm, humid weather.

It marked the first time that the authorities issued a red alert, the highest of a two-color warning system adopted in 2009, as the local weather turned hot and humid after days of rains.

A red alert indicates the bacterial food poisoning risk is above 25 percent, while a yellow alert means a risk of 15-24 percent. No alert will be issued if the risk is below 15 percent.

The alert was posted on the websites of both organizations and sent in short messages to all the eateries in the city. With a red alert, lunch suppliers and school canteens are not allowed to make salads and dishes using raw materials or serve left-over dishes.

Besides the red alert, authorities have issued ten yellow alerts this year. No major case of food poisoning has been reported so far.

Bacteria thrive in warm and humid conditions. The April-October period is the peak season for bacterial food poisoning with temperatures between 20-40 degrees Celsius and a high level of humidity, officials said.


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