Last Updated: Mon Nov 01, 2010 19:41 pm (KSA) 16:41 pm (GMT)

Nearly 300 hit by food poisoning in Jordan

Hummus is a side dish made from chickpeas (File)
Hummus is a side dish made from chickpeas (File)

The number of people hit by food poisoning in Jordan after eating hummus -- ground chickpeas -- from a restaurant in Jerash south of the capital rose Saturday to nearly 300, the health minister said.

Salah al-Mawajdeh told state-run Petra news agency that more than 90 people suffering from diarrhea and fever have been taken to Jerash and Amman hospitals.

He said the health authorities have shut down the restaurant and are currently investigating the possibility of an outbreak of salmonella or cholera.

"They are in stable health condition now and might be discharged in the coming few hours," the minister said.

Earlier, the head of the Jerash public hospital Yousef Qoqaji told AFP that 206 people had been treated for food poisoning and that salmonella was probably the cause.

In August, 176 people were treated for salmonella poisoning after eating tainted chicken shawermas (sandwiches) from a restaurant in the Baqaa Palestinian camp northwest of Amman, prompting the authorities to crack down on fast food outlets.

Also this summer, Jordan's health and water ministers resigned following the outbreak of hundreds of cases of water-borne diarrhea and fever.

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