Sarajevo hospital fills with food-poisoning patients

Case shows need to need to monitor issue of food safety

Food poisoning hit at least 425 people over the past three days, all of whom had eaten sandwiches in the Pizzeria Pomodorino in Sarajevo.

University Clinical Center in Sarajevo (KCUS) said that of those tested, 150 have had to be hospitalized so far with severe nausea and stomach cramps. KCUS spokeswoman Biljana Jandrić said that only the worst cases were hospitalized, but that no one was in danger of dying.

KCUS officials could not recall when was the last time that they had had such a rush of patients. “This is one of the biggest epidemics that we have registered since the war,” said KCUS Director Faris Gavrankapetanović.

Pomodorino is located near the Sarajevo School of Economics and some high schools. KCUS said most patients were in their 20s.

The Sarajevo Inspection Department closed down the pizzeria in response to the complaints. A sign on the restaurant says, “under reconstruction.”

Last summer, the Center for Investigative Reporting in Sarajevo (CIN) published “Danger on your Plate,“ a multi-part series that warned about a lack of inspection of food sold in markets and restaurants around the county. As part of its research, CIN had foods purchased at various restaurants in Sarajevo, Banja Luka and Mostar and found that nearly half of all samples were positive with unacceptable levels or kinds of bacteria. CIN did not test Pomodorino.

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