Their love for noodles proved to be deadly for a family when nine members died from food poisoning after they ate eating homemade noodle soup that was allegedly kept in a freezer for over a year.
A family of 12 in the Chinese city of Jixi in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang at a breakfast of Suan Tang Zi, a thick noodle dish made from fermented corn flour on the morning of October 5.
The noodle dish had been reportedly kept in a freezer and had gone bad and was emnating a smell, due to which three younger members of the family refused to eat it, local Chinese media said. The other nine members who ate the dish fell ill within hours and had to be taken to the hospital.
Seven people died on October 10 while the remaining two died a couple days later, a surviving family member said.
The Chinese Health Commission soon after issued a national warning against making or eating fermneted flour food items. A statement was also released by the officials about the nine members who passed away after suffering from food posioning. The statement also said that the toxin found in the noodle soup was bongkrekic acid in high concentration. Doctors said the toxin was also found in the gastric fluid of the deceased.
What is bongkrekic acid?
It is a respiratory toxin produced in fermented coconut or corn contaminated by the bacterium Burkholderia gladioli pathovar cocovenenans.The toxin was also the cause of deaths resulting from eating the coconut-based product known as tempe bongkrèk, which has been banned in Indonesia. It also caused 75 deaths and over 200 hospitalizations due to contaminated beer in a Mozambique funeral. It is mainly formed in fermented flour and rice products.
The acid is reportedly highly and can survive very high temperatures thus making it very dangerous and is difficult to remove even if throughly cooked.
Doctors said that the toxin can result in serious damage to human organs including the liver, kidneys, heart, and brain and can affect animals too. Having no special antidote as of now, the fatality rate ranges between 40 per cent to 100 per cent if posioned.
The noodles are a local delicacy in the Northeast China and is made with corn water mill and fermented.