China food poisoning deathPeople’s Daily reports that Chinese experts warned here Sunday that foodborne diseases rather than chemical pollutants are the top menace to the food safety of Chinese consumers.

Liu Xiumei, a research fellow with the Food Safety Institute of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said that foodborne disease threats were expanding in China.

In a latest food-poisoning case, eighty-seven Chinese fell ill after eating half-cooked snails in a restaurant in Beijing and were later diagnosed with a type of angiostrongyliasis, a disease caused by parasites that affects the brain and spinal cord, and can lead to meningitis, according to the Beijing Health Bureau.

Official data showed that about an annual average of 300 million people in China would contract foodborne diseases. Meat product contaminated by bacteria typhimurium has the highest morbidity; Bibrio Parahemolyticous, often contained in rotten aquatic products, was the second biggest pathogenic bacteria.

Liu said that foodborne diseases often happened to group dining, especially at cantees for students or employees, restaurants and fast food outlets. Triggers are material contamination, food deterioration, improper storage and bad processing.