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Mass nitrite poisoning in Harbin

FIFTY-SEVEN people became sick after eating snack food from a shopping center in Harbin, the capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, on Monday, said a health official yesterday.

Liu Minglie, deputy director of the city's health bureau, said hospitals in the city had not reported any deaths or any critically ill patients as a result of the poisoning.

He said hospitals have registered 57 people who suffered nausea and vomiting after eating the spicy Chinese snack "malatang" from a vendor in the underground dining area of Hongbo Shopping Center in downtown Harbin's Hongqi Street.

Among those, 28 have since left hospital after they passed medical checks. All of the hospitalized patients are in stable condition, said Liu.

He said a clinical examination found the patients were poisoned by nitrite.


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