Chinese family dies after eating toxic noodles

(Photo: Seonkyoung Longest)

Homemade corn noodles kept in the freezer for over a year was the cause of death for nine members of a Chinese family in Heilongjiang province.

The family ate the homemade corn noodles for breakfast on October 5, according to the Independent.

They fell ill within hours of eating the noodles and eight were confirmed dead by 11 October. A ninth member of the family received treatment in hospital but finally died on Monday.  

Provincial health authorities told state media that a high concentration of bongkrekic acid, a respiratory toxin produced by the bacterium pseudomonas cocovenenans, was detected in the corn noodles and in the gastric fluid of the deceased

Gao Fei, director of food safety at the Heilongjiang Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, told China News Service that the results of bongkrekic acid poisoning can often be fatal.  

“It can cause serious damage to many human organs including the liver, kidneys, heart, and brain,” Mr Gao said.

There are currently no specific antidote, the fatality rate can be between 40 per cent and 100 per cent.