Investigation has found that the food poisoning which sickened 141 tourists on Sunday in south China's Hainan Province was caused by bacteria, local authorities announced on Wednesday.

A team consisting of 10 experts from the Sanya Health Bureau, under the guidance of four experts from the provincial center for disease control, has been probing the cause of the outbreak since it was reported, said an official of the health bureau of Sanya city. 

was detected in samples from the suspect food.

The vacationers were sent for medical treatment after their breakfast from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. in the Howard Johnson Hotel in Sanya on Sunday. The number of patients reached 141 at peak time, 131 of whom were hospitalized, the official said.

As of Wednesday afternoon, 61 of the people had left hospital while others remained in the People's Hospital of Sanya and No. 425 Hospital of the People's Liberation Army, the official said.

Four of the tourists are from Russia and two from Japan, and all of them are in a stable condition.

Service at the hotel's restaurant has been suspended.

An emergency response team has been set up by the hotel, and 80 employees have been dispatched to hospitals to help take care of the patients. The hotel will compensate the patients based on investigation.

The municipal government of Sanya, a city known as a tourist resort, has called for supervision of food security in its restaurants, including those in hotels, to be strengthened.

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