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59 Chinese died of food poisoning in first quarter
Updated: 2004-04-30 15:50

China reported 73 serious food poisoning cases during the first quarter of this year, with 1,629 people sickened and 59 killed, China's Health Ministry said here Friday.

The case number and death toll increased 231.8 percent and 73.5 percent respectively on a year-on-year basis, the ministry said in a surveillance report released on Friday.

The ministry attributed the sharp increase to a tightened monitoring network.

Since the regulation on emergent public health accident was enacted on May 9 of last year, local health authorities have enhanced the administration on monitoring and reporting of food poisoning accidents so that missing or hiding cases became less and less, the ministry aid.

Meanwhile, the ministry said most food poisoning cases in the first quarter were caused by chemical materials, in which rat poison and nitrite were the major reason.

The ministry said a majority number of food poisoning accidents happened at dining hall or home, where people got sick or killed by eating poisonous food by mistake or the food poisoned deliberately by others.

In addition, the ministry said inappropriate food processing and reserving methods or contamination of food containers are also major causes of food poisoning accidents at schools.

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