BEIJING, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- A total of 50 people died of food poisoning in China in the third quarter of 2012, 18 percent fewer than in the same period of last year, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Health on Friday.
From July to September, a total of 2,382 people suffered food poisoning in 65 cases reported nationwide, it said.
According to the statement, toxic plants and animals as well as poisonous mushrooms caused the most deaths, and 53.6 percent of the cases were caused by bacteria, as food was susceptible to contamination in summer's high temperature and humidity.
The ministry urged all involved departments to pay high attention to food and water safety in public areas including schools and tourist sites.
As problems exist in the current food safety standards, such as contradiction, overlapping and repetition, the ministry plans to figure out clear standards by the end of 2013.
It will also solicit public opinions on the standards, and update the progress of the work in regular reports, it said.
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