Moldy Rice Sickens 270 in North China Daycare

July 1, 2011 10:27 am Last Updated: October 1, 2015 4:20 pm

A sick child is rushed to the hospital after eating moldy rice. (Screenshot from Youtube)
A sick child is rushed to the hospital after eating moldy rice. (Screenshot from Youtube)
Children at a rural daycare center in China’s Heilongjiang province have been sent to a hospital in Harbin, the provincial capital, to treat symptoms of poisoning caused by moldy rice. The daycare’s director admitted that a fifth of the rice given to the children is “stale.”

A parent said that there are about 270 children at the daycare center. About a week ago, his son started complaining about a stomachache and occasional vomiting. He learned that many other kids had had similar symptoms after querying their parents.

Harbin News Net reported that over 10 children, aged five and six, went to the Heilongjiang Provincial Hospital when it opened on the morning of June 23, and that all of them were from the 8510 Farm Daycare Center in Jidong, near Jixi City, east of Harbin.

Mr. Wang, a Harbin resident, told The Epoch Times that 191 children from the daycare center are said to have been treated at hospitals in Harbin, including Harbin Children’s Hospital and Harbin Medical University Hospital.

Harbin Children’s Hospital confirmed that many youngsters from the 8510 Farm Daycare Center had been treated there.

A farm worker disclosed that the daycare is contracted out to a private owner who feeds the kids moldy rice. “After the incident was exposed, many parents went to the farm’s director asking that all the children be examined and treated, and they also requested compensation,” the worker said.

According to a Living News report on June 24, Mr. Yu, a parent, said: “We went to the daycare center, and the Director admitted that they feed the kids a ratio of 80 percent fresh rice and 20 percent stale rice.”

The parents also showed the Living News reporter rice they took from the kitchen. The normal white rice is mixed in with discolored rice that has a moldy smell.

Local authorities said they intend to compensate each family with $310 in hospital expenses, but parents said it is not enough because some kids have complications, such as fluid retention, rashes and fever.

According to reports, the daycare center has been shut down and the rice has been sent to the province’s Center for Disease Control for mold testing.

Harbin Daily reported on June 28 that test results made public by the Provincial Land Reclamation Bureau showed that the aflatoxin content in the rice was within state regulation limits.

Harbin News Net interviewed Zhao Pu, the deputy director of the Heilongjiang Provincial Hospital Pediatric Department. Zhao said that short-term consumption of aflatoxin from contaminated food may cause fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, and loss of appetite. Long-term consumption could induce liver cancer and other gastrointestinal malignancies, as these toxins are among the most carcinogenic ones known.

Read the original Chinese article.

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