Category Archives: food death

Research – Aflatoxin Contamination of Commercial Maize Products During an Outbreak of Acute Aflatoxicosis in Eastern and Central Kenya


In April 2004, one of the largest aflatoxicosis outbreaks occurred in rural Kenya, resulting in 317 cases and 125 deaths. Aflatoxin-contaminated homegrown maize was the source of the outbreak, but the extent of regional contamination and status of maize in commercial markets (market maize) were unknown. We conducted a cross-sectional survey to assess the extent of market maize contamination and evaluate the relationship between market maize aflatoxin and the aflatoxicosis outbreak. We surveyed 65 markets and 243 maize vendors and collected 350 maize products in the most affected districts. Fifty-five percent of maize products had aflatoxin levels greater than the Kenyan regulatory limit of 20 ppb, 35% had levels > 100 ppb, and 7% had levels > 1,000 ppb. Makueni, the district with the most aflatoxicosis case-patients, had significantly higher market maize aflatoxin than did Thika, the study district with fewest case-patients (geometric mean aflatoxin = 52.91 ppb vs. 7.52 ppb, p = 0.0004). Maize obtained from local farms in the affected area was significantly more likely to have aflatoxin levels > 20 ppb compared with maize bought from other regions of Kenya or other countries (odds ratio = 2.71; 95% confidence interval, 1.12-6.59). Contaminated homegrown maize bought from local farms in the affected area entered the distribution system, resulting in widespread aflatoxin contamination of market maize. Contaminated market maize, purchased by farmers after their homegrown supplies are exhausted, may represent a source of continued exposure to aflatoxin. Efforts to successfully interrupt exposure to aflatoxin during an outbreak must consider the potential role of the market system in sustaining exposure.


Research – Home Canning and Botulism


Home canning is an excellent way to preserve garden produce and share it with family and friends. But it can be risky—or even deadly—if not done correctly and safely.

It’s summertime and time to harvest the delicious produce you’ve been growing. You may be thinking about home canning as a way to preserve your garden goodies. But beware! If home canning is not done the proper way, your canned vegetables and fruits could cause botulism.

What is botulism?

Botulism is a rare but potentially deadly illness caused by a poison most commonly produced by a germ called Clostridium botulinum. The germ is found in soil and can survive, grow, and produce a toxin in certain conditions, such as when food is improperly canned. The toxin can affect your nerves, paralyze you, and even cause death.

You cannot see, smell, or taste botulinum toxin—but taking even a small taste of food containing this toxin can be deadly.


Pakistan – Three children die of food poisoning in Karachi


Three children reportedly died of food poisoning in Karachi’s Kharadar on Monday, according to the police.

The children went out with their mother and paternal aunt for a drive. They ate burgers from a shop on Chunrigar Road, and then picked up ice cream from a Saddar shop on June 13, a police officer told SAMAA TV. When they returned home, they started vomiting and the family rushed them to the Kharadar General Hospital on June 14 at 6:30am. The hospital discharged them after treating them.

Around midnight their condition deteriorated again and they were taken to the hospital once again. The doctors referred one child to the Jinnah hospital but the child died on his way to the hospital, while the other two passed away at the Kharadar hospital, the police said.

Viet Nam – 22 die of food poisoning in first five months, authority to inspect food safety


According to the administration’s report at a meeting “ Prevention of food poisoning from company kitchens” in Ho Chi Minh City yesterday, the country has recorded 48 food poisoning cases killing 22 people infecting 872 people and driving 824 people into hospitals.
Food poisoning cases are caused by Microorganism (with 8.7 percent), by natural toxic ( with 28.4 percent), by chemicals ( with 4.2 percent) and unidentified causes( 28.7 percent).
In addition to concern of unsafe food in kitchen in industrial parks and export processing zones in Ho Chi Minh City, unsafe food in schools is the most concern.


Malaysia – Terengganu ‘puding buih’ food poisoning case claims first victim

Malay Mail

KUALA TERENGGANU, June 3 — A victim of the puding buih food poisoning incident in Terengganu has died at the Sultanah Nur Zahirah Hospital (HSNZ), said state Health director Dr Nor Azimi Yunus.

He said the 25-year-old woman, who was admitted to the hospital on May 24, died at 10.40am today.

“She was treated for 10 days at the Intensive Care Unit of HSNZ. The death was caused by septicaemia shock and multi-organ failure,” he told reporters via WhatsApp.

It had been reported that 99 people in Terengganu were treated at HSNZ and other healthcare facilities for diarrhoea, vomiting and fever after consuming puding buih which they bought online on May 22.

Thailand – Salmonella found in ‘death dumplings’ that killed a Thai woman

Lab results on Sunday found a dubious dish dubbed “death dumplings” after at least one woman died contained the potentially fatal salmonella bacteria.

After sale of the dumplings in southeast metro Bangkok was blamed for one death and several illnesses, the lab results, which came out yesterday confirmed they contained salmonella, according to Prakit Wongprasert of the Samut Prakan provincial health office.

Earlier this month, 66-year-old Thanu Changpoopanga-ngam suffered severe diarrhea and was taken to a hospital. Her condition was allegedly caused by eating a dumpling bought from a local vendor. Others in Thanu’s family, who also ate the dumplings, said they also had severe diarrhea.

Thanu died a few days later. Her death, led the media to dub the dim sum snack as ‘death dumplings,’ after several others came forward to say they had taken sick from eating them.

Zimbabwe – 3 Family Members Die Of Suspected Food Poisoning

Pindula News

Three members of a family in Gwanda have died of suspected food poisoning. The tragedy was confirmed by Matabeleland South provincial police spokesperson, Chief Inspector Philisani Ndebele who said investigations were underway to establish the cause of the deaths.

Ndebele told The Chronicle that Jotham Sibanda (64) from Matshiye Village died on Saturday at home while his two grandchildren aged six and eight died, in that order, on Thursday at Mpilo and Friday at home. He said:

I can confirm that we recorded a case where a man and his two grandchildren aged six and eight years died in a suspected case of food poisoning. On May 7 in the morning Mrs Khohliso Sibanda prepared food which she ate with her husband and their three grandchildren aged six, eight and 12 years.

Thailand – Dumplings blamed for ‘poisoning’

Bangkok Post

CHACHOENGSAO: Public health officials and police in this eastern province on Monday launched a fact-finding investigation into a food outlet in Ban Pho district after several people fell sick and one died from what was suspected to be food poisoning.

The probe into the dumpling-making outlet in tambon Koh Rai came after a food vendor identified only as Mint reported to police at Ban Pho station and gave details about her supplier.

Local police said about 20 people were rushed to various hospitals with symptoms of food poisoning on May 8 with many of them saying they ate dumplings bought from a street vendor that day. A 66-year-old woman reportedly died due to complications.

Switzerland – Hospital Listeria cases linked to cheese in Switzerland; one death reported

Food Safety News

Four patients have been infected by Listeria and one has died after eating potentially contaminated cheese at a hospital in Switzerland.

During an internal check, Käserei Vogel AG, based in Steinerberg, found Listeria in semi-hard cheese and at its production site. The company issued a recall and informed its buyers to remove the products from shelves.

One of the buyers is a supplier to the Center Hospitalier du Valais Romand (CHVR). This supplier told the CHVR purchasing manager on April 30 about the problem. He instructed the immediate withdrawal of implicated cheeses. The last delivery was April 8, but it has not been ruled out that previous lots were also contaminated.

Research – Study reveals foodborne illness burden in Taiwan

Food Safety News

One in six Taiwanese people suffered from foodborne illness annually during a four year period studied by researchers.

From 2012 to 2015, almost 3.9 million foodborne illnesses and 50 deaths occurred annually in the country.

Scientists said the study, published in the Journal of the Formosan Medical Association, provided the first national estimates on the disease burden from foodborne illnesses in Taiwan.

Among just more than half of foodborne illnesses cases with identifiable causal microorganisms, non-typhoid Salmonella, norovirus, and Vibrio parahaemolyticus were leading pathogens.

Foodborne illnesses caused a substantial financial disease burden, with a medical cost up to NT $1.3 billion (U.S. $43,400) annually.