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Nine dead after family eat homemade noodles from freezer

A ninth person has died from a family who suffered food poisoning from homemade noodles earlier this month.

The latest death comes after eight other family members died from eating the corn noodles for breakfast in the city of Jixi in China’s northeastern province of Heilongjiang on October 5.

Local authorities say the noodles, which are made from fermented corn flour, poisoned the family with bongrekik acid, the Global Times reported.

The noodles, which had been kept in the family’s freezer for one year, were eaten by nine adults but the three children present didn’t consume the meal as they didn’t like the taste.

Ms Li in hospital before her death (left) and an image of suantangzi soup. Source: HongXing Video/ The Paper
Ms Li in hospital before her death (left) and an image of suantangzi soup. Source: HongXing Video/ The Paper

Authorities confirmed the deaths of seven family members on October 10 while the eighth death was confirmed two days later.

The final surviving family member who ate the soup, a mother surnamed Li, died on Monday.

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

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

“Currently, there is no specific antidote. Once poisoned, the fatality rate can be as high as 40 to 100 per cent.”

Mr Gao said bongkrekic acid is resistant to being boiled at high temperatures.

The noodle dish, which is locally known as Suantangzi, is a common dish in the region.

Experts say it is essential to avoid mouldy or soaked corn to make the noodles and if they develop a peculiar smell or coloured spots, they should not be eaten.

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