BEIJING - Food poisoning in China killed 56 and sickened 2,452 others between January and May this year, the Ministry of Health said here Wednesday.
In a report posted on its website, the ministry said 27 people, about half of the deaths, were killed by food poisoning at home.
The deaths were mainly caused by the consumption of poisonous vegetables and pesticide- or poison-contaminated food.
There were 68 cases of food poisoning at employee and student cafeterias nationwide in the five months resulting in the poisoning of almost 1,650 people and the deaths of 18. Bacteria-induced food poisoning and improperly cooked kidney beans were the main causes.
Seven people were killed by excessive intakes of nitrite, a substance with an appearance similar to salt which can be used as a meat preservatives.
The report urged food manufacturers to ensure food safety in accordance with law and called on the public to raise food safety self-awareness levels.