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August 6, 2009

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Food poisoning on rise

FORTY-EIGHT people died and 3,063 people fell ill because of food poisoning in China between April and June, the Ministry of Health said yesterday.

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 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.

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.


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