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Health authorities investigating after possible food poisoning at Santander wedding
Health

Health authorities investigating after possible food poisoning at Santander wedding

Some 30 of the 170 guests went to the emergency department of the local hospital, all presenting with similar symptoms in the northern Spanish city

A.R García / M.Martínez

Santander

Thursday, 28 March 2024, 10:57

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The celebrations of the bride and groom who tied the knot on Saturday 23 March surrounded by family and friends have been spoiled after many of the 170 guests felt sick the next day.

On Monday, some 30 of them went to the emergency department of the Valdecilla Hospital in Santander with similar symptoms: mainly vomiting or diarrhoea. Some even required hospitalisation due to dehydration, although, according to El Diario Montañés, most of those affected returned home after seeing a doctor.

It triggered emergency services to report the situation to the Directorate General of Public Health to activate the protocol for food poisoning. On 25 March the health department already had the list of guests, although it had not yet proceeded to take samples of the food consumed at the banquet at the wedding as the venue - the Palacio de Mijares in Santillana del Mar - was shut, the regional ministry told SUR.

Technicians from the department of food safety of the Cantabrian government on Tuesday 26 March started their inspections to determine the possible origin of the food poisoning by taking a sample of the food served at the wedding, and will also determine how many people were affected. It cannot be ruled out that others also felt unwell, in addition to those who went to hospital.

Other guests may have only presented with mild symptoms who did not even require medical assistance. Technicians are expected to contact the entire list of attendees from Saturday's wedding.

If food poisoning is confirmed, which is currently the most likely hypothesis given the symptoms of the guests, it will be one of the biggest outbreaks recorded in recent years in Cantabria. The number of people taken to hospital alone is already more than all those possibly affected in five outbreaks investigated by public health in 2022. According to that year's report, 25 people were affected - between two and ten per outbreak - although food poisoning could not be confirmed in all cases - in one of them it was even ruled out.

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