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Food poisoning deaths up in China in first quarter

BEIJING, May 9 (Xinhua) -- A total of 21 people died of food poisoning in China in the first quarter of 2014, a year-on-year increase of 16.7 percent, said the National Health and Family Planning Commission on Friday.

However, the total number of people who suffered food poisoning decreased by 38.8 percent to 462 from that of the same period of 2013, said the statement from the commission.

The total number of food poisoning cases or incidents dropped by 20.8 percent to 19, the statement said.

The most deadly cause of food poisoning was toxic chemicals such as nitrite and methanol. Bacteria and poisonous animal products, plants and mushrooms were also major causes.

Most food poisoning cases occurred at home, according to the statement.

The commission warned the public of poisoning caused by rotten food as the weather becomes warmer.

It also pledged to step up supervision of school canteens and improve training for local medical workers.

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