21 people died of food poisoning in China during the first three months of 2014, marking a year-on-year increase of 16.7%. Even scarier, the majority of these deaths were caused by toxic contaminants rather than the usual bacterial infections. Shanghai Daily reports:
The most deadly cause of food poisoning was toxic chemicals such as nitrite and methanol. Bacteria and poisonous animal products, plants and mushrooms were also major causes.
The commission warned the public of poisoning caused by rotten food as the weather becomes warmer.
It also pledged to step up supervision of school canteens and improve training for local medical workers.
We’re surprised ODing wasn’t one of the causes of food-related deaths seeing how more and more restaurants are apparently putting opiates in their dishes.
Fortunately, despite the spike in food poisoning casualties, the number of food poisoning sufferers is on the decline, dropping by 38.8% in the first quarter of 2013.
Our advice for avoiding ‘The Shanghai Squirts’: If you’re going for street food, stick with stands with lots of turnover and only eat their during their peak hours , usually evening or early morning (every street food has an optimum time). Also, avoid that stagnant cuttlefish chuanr stand during midday in August, lest you want to experience Krakatoa 2 in the bathroom.
And check out this list of eats to avoid while in China.
It’s called the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food.