Food Poisoning Cases on Rise in China

Source of Article:

    2009-08-05 22:57:03     Xinhua      Web Editor: Xu Liuliu

Forty-eight people died and 3,063 people fell ill because of food poisoning throughout China between April and June, the Ministry of Health said Wednesday, calling for swift action to prevent food contamination.


The numbers of poisoning cases and associated fatalities climbed steeply during the second quarter. They were mainly caused by food contamination by bacteria and pesticide, the ministry said.


The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) received 77 food poisoning case reports in the April-June period, a rise of 40 percent from the same period last year, and nearly three times that of the first three months this year.


The numbers of the dead and those falling ill were respectively 65.5 percent and 11.3 percent higher compared to the same period last year.


Food contamination by bacteria such as salmonella was the leading cause of poisoning, largely because of improper storage and processing of foodstuffs during summer, the ministry said.


However, use of food tainted by pesticides or poisonous food, such as undercooked green beans, was more deadly, being responsible for 41 deaths between April and June.


Awareness of food safety and personal hygiene should be promoted among rural residents, because about half of poisoning cases and most of the deaths happened in rural households.


The knowledge of safe use of poisonous pesticides should also be improved, because they were often a key source of food contamination, the ministry said.




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