It is known that silage salted carp is a popular dish in the mountainous area of Quang Nam province made by people. Fermented salted carp is a type of food that is put in a sealed glass container, after 2-3 weeks to eat. This cooking method creates anaerobic conditions for the growth of Clostridium Botulinum bacteria.
After less than 24 hours, people who ate all had symptoms of digestive disorders, which made the extremities gradually weaken. Severe cases have respiratory failure due to muscle paralysis, requiring mechanical ventilation.
Poisoned patient is being treated, photo source BVCC.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Duy Thinh – Food and Biotechnology Expert said that all food if not hygienic and in an anaerobic environment are at risk for botulinum bacteria to grow. Protein-rich foods have a higher risk of botulinum infection than other foods.
Fermented salted carp is often brewed to ferment fish meat. However, the processing process does not ensure safety and hygiene, fish is a raw food, so the possibility of bacterial infection is easy.
Clostridium botulinum is an anaerobic bacteria, in an anaerobic environment will produce many toxins. Signs that food contaminated with Clostridium botulinum are often difficult to recognize by the senses (no unpleasant rotten smell, no color change, no viscous) but can only be recognized through gas (gas) production conditions.
The food technology expert recommends that handmade canned foods (do-it-yourself) are being sold a lot online, or foods left in vacuum bags for a long time without use are very dangerous. are at high risk for botulinum infection.
Clostridium botulinum bacteria are capable of self-generating spores, lying in sandy soil. When conditions are favorable, especially in canned foods, spores will reactivate, reproduce, grow and produce botulinum toxin.
Signs of botulinum poisoning
People who eat botulinum-contaminated food from 12-36 hours, the body will begin to show clinical manifestations. Initial symptoms include vomiting, nausea, abdominal distension, abdominal pain, then functional bowel paralysis, constipation.
Characteristic of botulium poisoning is bilateral symmetrical nerve paralysis, originating from the head, face, neck and spreading to the hands and feet. On the face, there may be drooping eyelids, double vision, blurred vision, sore throat, difficulty speaking, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, dry mouth. Then paralysis of the arms, paralysis of the muscles of the chest, abdomen and paralysis of the legs… Botulinum poisoning is severe poisoning, high risk of death or long-term health effects.
The Ministry of Health recommends that food production, especially canned food, must ensure safe conditions, sterilize tools at high temperatures, but cooking in manual conditions will be difficult to kill bacteria.
With the use of vacuum bags, this can preserve food for a longer time, but it needs to be frozen, if kept at normal temperature or in the refrigerator, use it in a short time.
To prevent poisoning, people strictly follow cooked food and drink boiling water. Only use food products, food ingredients of clear origin, absolutely do not use canned products that have expired, bulged, flattened, deformed, rusted, not intact or with unusual taste or color changes.
The Ministry of Health advises people to cook food when preparing food, because botulinum toxin is not heat-stable, inactivated at 80 degrees Celsius and decomposes at 100 degrees Celsius in 15 minutes. This type of bacteria cannot grow in an environment with a pH below 4.6, so when people pickle, tomato, and bamboo shoots, they need to cover it up to ensure enough acidity and saltiness to use. When the food is not sour, it should not be eaten.
Previously, Quang Nam General Hospital received many cases of poisoning after eating silage salted carp.
The first cluster of cases includes 5 people living in Phuoc Duc commune, Phuoc Son district, Quang Nam province. On March 5, these people all had abdominal pain, vomiting, fatigue and gradually weakened limbs. Symptoms appear 12 to 24 hours after eating. The patient entered the Northern Quang Nam Regional General Hospital. After 3 days of treatment, a 40-year-old female patient died due to severe progression. The remaining 4 patients are fine.
The second cluster of cases is a 37-year-old female patient, living in Phuoc Chanh commune, Phuoc Son district, Quang Nam province. She ate silage carp on March 14. A day later, she vomited a lot, gradually weakened her limbs, and was admitted to the Northern Quang Nam General Hospital. On March 16, the patient suffered from respiratory failure and has been on mechanical ventilation until now.
The third cluster of cases is 4 people with their families, living in Phuoc Kien commune, Phuoc Son district, Quang Nam province. On March 16, the whole family ate silage carp and vomited and was hospitalized the next day. On March 18, two patients suffered from quadriplegia, respiratory failure, and required mechanical ventilation. The other two cases (with a 12-year-old boy) had mild weakness in the extremities and could breathe on their own.