Nine members of a family had died after eating homemade noodles in the city of Jixi in China's northeastern province of Heilongjiang. The last survivor from the family died due to food poisoning recently, said local authorities.
As reported, the officials announced seven deaths from the family on October 10 and the eighth on October 12. They also said that the noodles, made from fermented corn flour, poisoned the family with bongkrekic acid, which is a respiratory toxin.
The Deadly Noodles
These homemade noodles were kept in the family's freezer for one year. Nine members of the family ate the noodles for breakfast, but three children of the family did not eat it as they did not like the taste. After the death of eight of the family members, the ninth survivor, a woman surnamed Li died on Monday, October 19.
The director of food safety at the Heilongjiang Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Gao Fei told the media that that bongkrekic acid poisoning is often fatal. As per Gao, the bongkrekic acid can cause serious damage to many internal organs in humans such as the liver, kidneys, heart, and also brain damage. "Currently, there is no specific antidote. Once poisoned, the fatality rate can be as high as 40 to 100 percent," he said.
Gao also said that bongkrekic acid is resistant to being boiled at a high temperature. The noodle dish, also known as Suantangzi, is a very common dish in the area where the deaths were reported.
Fan Zhihong, an associate professor of China's Agricultural University, reiterated that the bongkrekic acid is extremely toxic and currently there is no drug available to treat such cases of poisoning caused by it.
As per the experts, This is also responsible for the poisoning from fermented flour products. They also advised people to avoid mouldy or soaked corn to make the noodles and if the noodles develop a peculiar smell or colored spots, people should not eat them.