12 people taken to hospital after suspected food poisoning from ‘aconite’ contaminated spices – Reuters

CANADA – Twelve visitors fell sick after to eat in a restaurant outside Toronto. They were brought to hospital (RS) Monday (29/8/2022), with four people requiring intensive care.

Canadian health authorities said the visitor may have eaten food contaminated with poisonous aconite.

He explained that his party believed the poison came from two spice powder products that had been withdrawn from circulation. Aconite, a poisonous herb, can seriously affect the nervous system if ingested.

Also read: 10 residents of Cirebon were poisoned after eating rice tumpeng

York County Public Health Department said diners fell ill after eating a meal at Delight Restaurant & BBQ, located just north of Toronto.

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According to the BBC, visitors went to a nearby hospital with symptoms similar to those of aconite poisoning. Most have recovered, while others remain ill in hospital and are improving.

Officials said they believe the accidental poisoning was caused by contaminated spices.

They have since sent the food and other samples to the lab for confirmation. The restaurant cooperated with the investigation.

Two products – galangal powder common in Asian cuisine and radix aconiti kusnezoffii powder traditionally used in Chinese medicine – have been pulled from retail shelves.

Aconite, also known as aconite, wolfsbane or devil’s helmet, is a common plant found in gardens and mountainous areas of North America, Europe and the United States. ‘Asia.

The roots are very poisonous and deadly. If ingested, symptoms appear rapidly and most deaths occur within hours.

Health officials say symptoms consistent with aconite poisoning are numbness of the tongue or limbs, diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, headache and a irregular or fast heartbeat.

This plant is known to have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years, although it is processed before consumption to remove toxins.

Dr. David Juurlink, an internal medicine doctor and toxicology researcher in Toronto, said the problem was that if not treated thoroughly, the toxic parts of aconite would remain.

“The usual story is that someone took [aconite] for medical reasons, and they take too much or aren’t treated properly, and they die. »

He said that one teaspoon of pure aconite poison was enough to kill several people.

Dr Juurlink said the challenge for doctors was that there was no antidote for aconite poisoning.

He describes very supportive care, such as connecting patients to a breathing machine or trying to support their heart rate in a special intensive care unit via a bypass machine.

He says people who notice they accidentally ingest aconite usually don’t get to the hospital fast enough.

Several cases of accidental and intentional poisoning have made headlines in the past.

Earlier this year, two people in British Columbia fell ill after eating a powdered ginger product contaminated with aconite.

In 2017, a San Francisco woman died after consuming herbal tea containing traces of aconite.

Earlier in 2010, a British woman was convicted of murder after mixing her ex-partner’s food with aconite.

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