Man captured poisoning food in supermarket

09:23, January 13, 2011      

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Guangzhou police have captured a man who was attempting blackmail after poisoning food in a local supermarket, the Southern Daily reported.

So far, there have been no reports of people poisoned.

The suspect, surnamed Zhang, called a Trust-Mart Supermarket in Haizhu District of Guangzhou on January 4, claiming to have poisoned some of the food in the store and asked for money.

The police acted in a joint effort with local watchdogs on food, health, commerce and quality to start the investigation.

Food sold in the store, including bulk rice, fish, mushrooms and vermicelli noodles, were found tainted with bromadiolone and chlorophacinone, substances commonly found in rat poison.

The district government has removed the poisoned food from the shelf and instructed customers who bought these foods to return their purchase to the supermarket.

Meanwhile, two local hospitals are closely monitoring the situation, ready to handle any suspected cases.

Symptoms of bromadiolone and chlorophacinone poisoning in humans can take three to ten days to show, said Dr. Cheng Jianding, a professor with the medical college of Sun Yat-sen University.

People who ingest the poison can suffer from stomachaches, nausea, dizziness, or bleeding at the gums, Cheng said, adding that the toxicity would have been greatly reduced if the food was washed before being eaten.

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