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Ten released from hospital after south China fatal food poisoning case
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07:29, February 26, 2008

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-- A further 10 people were released from hospital on Monday and nine others were still receiving treatment after they were poisoned in a restaurant in southern Shenzhen City on Saturday.

"The nine patients are all stable," said a spokesman of the publicity department of Longgang District, without giving details.

Meanwhile, the police have produced no new information about their investigation into the sodium nitrite poisoning.

Sixty-three workers of BYD Company Ltd. suffered stomachaches, vomiting and other symptoms around 11:00 a.m. Saturday after having lunch at a restaurant near their workplace.

Two people died after treatment and 42 others left hospital on Sunday afternoon, according to the Health Bureau of Longgang District.

The bureau had detected sodium nitrite in the food, but the police ruled out the possibility of kitchen staff mistaking the chemical for salt or sugar.

Sodium nitrite, similar in appearance to salt, is used as an industrial color fixative, but is also used in small amounts as a meat preservative.

Health experts warned that 0.2 grams of sodium nitrite could poison an adult and three grams were enough to kill.

A press conference would be held to explain the case to the public in a few days, the spokesman said.

Source: Xinhua

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