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Seven customers at a Subway sandwich outlet in the international terminal of Vancouver airport were taken to hospital on Friday afternoon suffering from an apparent bout of food poisoning.

Vancouver Coastal Health spokesman Justin Karasick said the suspected cause of their illness was some tuna that may not have been stored at the right temperature. "It was a tuna fish [sandwich]"

Mr. Karasick said six of the seven were treated at Richmond Hospital and released, but one person was kept in for further treatment still suffering from nausea. He said the patient's condition is not serious.

He said it was normal protocol to send food poisoning victims to hospital regardless of the severity of their illness.

The customers are believed to have been stricken by a form of food poisoning known as scombroid, which occurs when there is a high level of histamine in raw or uncooked fish, said Mr. Karasick.

Symptoms – sweating, headaches, and nausea – usually occur right after eating, but often resolve themselves on their own, he added.

VCH public-health investigators are looking into the incident. "The one food item involved was removed immediately," Mr. Karasick said.

Vancouver International Airport spokeswoman Lara Gerrits said YVR officials are cooperating with the health authority in their investigation.

Those afflicted – most of whom were YVR employees – were hit at a food court on the traveller side of security gates.