silkworms poison 118
Published on January 27, 2009
Source of Article: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2009/01/27/national/national_30094212.php
Some 118 people have fallen ill, with
60 being admitted to hospital, after consuming fried silkworm that believed
to be contaminated with the toxic substance histamine.
It is believed the
chemical can cause immune system disorders and allergies.
Most of the patients suffered facial swelling,
vomiting, blurred vision, numbness around the mouth, exhaustion and skin
rash, the Public Health Ministry's epidemiologist, Anek
He presented the case at a three-day conference entitled "Mobilise Epidemiology to Health Policy Development" organised by the Department of Disease Control.
Anek and his team studied the epidemiological effects of
food poisoning by collecting samples of silkworm at the Rong-Klua
market - a hub for insect trade - at the border province of Sa Kaew.
After hearing that one of the employees of a
shop importing insects from China
had fallen ill from eating a fried silkworm, they sent the insects for
laboratory tests and discovered that most of the silkworms sold in Rong-Klua market were contaminated with histamines.
The level of histamine found in silkworm was
875 milligrams per kilogram, when, according to US food regulations, no more
than 50mg/kg of histamine contamination can be allowed in fish, which is
usually found contaminated. This is the first time that an insect has been
found contaminated by this substance, Anek said.
The study also discovered that the insects were
further contaminated by the bad conditions at Rong-Klua
market and poor cooling systems.
The team has suggested that the government
introduce stricter controls on the transportation fresh produce and improve
sanitation at fresh markets.