Spices identified in Markham restaurant poisoning case
York Region Public Health has identified two spices that have ‘a strong indication’ were contaminated with aconite which led to the poisoning of a dozen people after eating a chicken dish at a restaurant of Markham.
In a press release late Wednesday evening, York Region Public Health said Mr. Right brand Keampferia Galanga powder (product code AT119 or AT154) and Mr. Right brand Radix Aconiti Kusnezoffii powder (product code AT154) could be contaminated with aconite toxin. .
Galangal is a common ingredient in Asian cooking. Radix aconiti kusnezoffii is the root of a species of aconite, also called aconite or wolfsbane, a genus of highly poisonous flowering plants. It has been used in herbal medicines, but is usually pre-processed to remove toxins.
The press release says the products have been removed from known retailers in York Region and anyone who owns these spices should dispose of them immediately.
York Region Medical Officer of Health Dr. Barry Pakes told The Star in an interview on Wednesday that they are expecting lab results confirming this in the coming days.
The restaurant where the food poisoning cases occurred, Delight Restaurant and BBQ at Castlemore Avenue and Markham Road, was allowed to reopen after a public health inspection on Wednesday. Pakes told the Star that it’s now up to the restaurant’s owners to decide when they want to reopen.
There was no answer when the Star called the restaurant Thursday morning.
« Business owners have helped provide us with what we needed, and they’re also interested in making sure everyone is as safe as we are, » Pakes told The Star, adding that he thought that the incident was an accident and not due to the restaurant’s hygiene or cooking practices.
When aconite is ingested, symptoms may include diarrhea, numbness and tingling of the tongue or limbs, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, headache, and irregular or rapid heartbeat . It can also be fatal if consumed.
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