More than 50 people have now been affected by a food poisoning outbreak linked to a new Canberra restaurant.

ACT Health says at least 12 people have been admitted to hospital with salmonella poisoning.

The people became sick after eating at The Copa Brazilian Churrasco restaurant in Dickson over the weekend.

ACT chief health officer Dr Paul Kelly says it is the biggest outbreak in recent times.

"We've had our environmental health team out doing inspections and collecting samples. We've had our communicable disease control group phoning people. We've got our laboratory at Holder doing the lab work on the samples from the restaurant," he said.

"We enacted our health emergency plan just on the advise from our emergency department being really over run by this."

Dr Kelly says more cases and hospital admissions are expected.

"Normally symptoms start about 12 to 36 hours after a person's been infected. Given that the restaurant closed, or it last served food on Sunday night, we'll be getting beyond that normal time but there is a bit of a tail to it, there may still be more people out there. The other thing is it can last for up to seven days," he said.

Dr Kelly says the restaurant closed voluntarily and will remain shut while officials find the source of the problem.

"The restaurant is a buffet style so pretty much everyone eats everything as far as we can work out," he said.

"So there is a range of meats involved, a range of salads involved, there's a range of sauces involved. We've taken samples of all of those types of foods, they're currently under testing, and we're waiting for those results."

The restaurant only opened last week.

A post on the restaurant's Facebook page says The Copa is working with ACT Health to determine the cause of "suspected food health issue".

"While working with ACT Health, The Copa has taken the opportunity to temporarily close to resolve a ventilation issue that is prohibiting the extraction of smoke caused from cooking over hot coals in the restaurant.

"We appreciate your ongoing support and expect to be open as soon as possible."

 

Advertisement