Five People Poisoned by Tainted Beef in Shanxi Province

February 14, 2006 12:00 am Last Updated: February 14, 2006 12:00 am

Two meat dealers in Luonan County of China's Shanxi Province have sold cooked beef that is responsible for food poisoning in three people and the deaths of two others. The authorities have confiscated 706 kilograms (1550 lbs) of unsold beef.

According to a report in Chinese Business View magazine, Guo Jianmin, head of the county police, arrested the meat dealers on February 3. The dealers, father and son, had bought the meat, believed to have been from terminally ill cows, from a private slaughterhouse in a rural area. They had sold about 80 kilograms of the meat. None of the samples sent for examination, from raw and cooked meat, have been completely analyzed as of yet.

The three people who became ill had bought cooked beef from private booths in a local market. These booths do not have health permits or business licenses.

Luonan County Deputy Governor, Guo Juxian, said that there are several departments responsible for food safety. He feels that the quality of sanitary control has been lowered by poor inspection procedures. Guo said, “Take Luonan Country, for example. The departments responsible for food safety are the County Sanitary Supervision Institute and the Food and Drug Surveillance Administrative Bureau. But these departments are not doing enough to supervise food safety, and are especially lax in the inspection of roving vendors.

Ji Shulan, one of those who suffered food poisoning, after regaining consciousness, said, “I still feel dizzy and nauseous and my arms and legs are still weak.” She was being treated in the intensive care unit of a Chinese medicine hospital in Luonan County. As the swelling on her face gradually returned to normal, her complexion started to look better.

According to Ji's physician, Dr. Gao, Ji's condition was still serious, but her situation is no longer critical. Because the lab tests had not confirmed the cause of the poisoning, he could only treat her by judging her symptoms. Dr. Gao used three drugs to deal with what he believed to be organic phosphate and nitrite poisoning, as well as viral infections. Ji's situation is improving, but two more weeks are needed for a full recovery. No after-effects are expected from the food poisoning.