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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003

    30+ Kids Die of Food Poisioning

    Food poisoning kills 29 children

    A man attends a child, one of the victims of food poisoning, in Mabini.

    (CNN) -- Nearly 30 elementary school children in the Philippines have died after eating fried cassava balls obtained from a vendor, a local official told CNN.

    Fourteen children died Wednesday before reaching hospitals and 13 died upon arrival, a spokesman for Ubay Mayor Eutiquio Bernales said.

    Two more children also have died, but it was not clear when. Thirty-five more are in critical condition.

    The victims suffered severe stomach pain, then vomiting and diarrhea after eating the snack during morning recess, The Associated Press reported.

    * * *

    "Some said they took only two bites because it tasted bitter and the effects were felt 5-10 minutes later," Dr. Harold Gallego of Garcia Memorial Provincial Hospital in the nearby town of Talibon told AP.

    The vendor who sold the cassava balls insisted nothing was wrong with them and ate a few to prove the point. Now she, too, is in critical condition.

    A* * *

    Cassava is a starchy, tuberous root that is a low-cost source of carbohydrates in humid, tropical areas; it is also the source of tapioca.

    Cassava contains amino acid-derived cyanogenic glucosides -- some more than others -- and must be thoroughly cooked to remove toxic levels.

    Eaten raw, the human digestive system will convert part of it into cyanide. Two cassava roots contain enough to be fatal.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    North Carolina
    Wow, those poor families. They are in my prayers. I know this sounds mean, but the vendor got her just deserts.

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