Suspected food poisoning affects 157 over weekend

Updated: 2007-11-12 22:12

NANJING -- Suspected cases of food poisoning affected 157 people in two eastern Chinese provinces over the weekend.

In Jintan City in Jiangsu Province, 83 students were hospitalized after having lunch on Friday at the Hebin Primary School. The city government announced on Monday that the pupils were taken for treatment after incidents of vomiting, nausea and diarrhea. Ten students were still in hospital on Monday, none in serious condition.

Jintan has ordered an immediate overhaul of school mess halls to prevent such incidents from happening again.

An investigation into the cause of the accident is under way.

In neighboring Anhui Province, 74 people were hospitalized in Hefei on Sunday after a birthday banquet. As of Monday, 39 were still in hospital.

Samples of food from the lunch have been collected for testing. A preliminary analysis revealed that the poisoning was caused by nitrite, most commonly used as the essential agent in preserving meat by pickling.

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