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Spike in food poisoning in NYC

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NEW YORK, Aug 18, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- An unusually high number of food-poisoning cases reported by hospital emergency rooms has New York City officials warning residents about spoiled food.

The city Health Department is warning New Yorkers not to eat food that could have been ruined by last week's blackout.

"While we do not know the specific cause of this spike in diarrheal illnesses, it is possible that it was caused by spoiled food eaten at home or elsewhere," said New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden.

He confirmed that the drinking-water supply is safe, the New York Post reported.

Dozens of food inspectors have been dispatched to restaurants and other establishments to make sure they comply with safety guidelines, according to Frieden.

He said that perishable foods kept above 40 degrees F for more than two hours should be tossed. But it's OK to refreeze food that still felt cold.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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