The condiment, which was involved in the food poisoning of 12 diners at a restaurant in Markham, Ontario, is the subject of a national recall and has been distributed in several provinces, including Quebec.
Posted on 9/2
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency announced that Mr. Right (Keampferia Galanga) brand galangal powder was recalled due to aconitine contamination.
Aconitine comes from certain plants and roots that contain alkaloids, toxins that can cause a serious form of illness.
The Public Health Agency of Canada said on Friday that the recalled product, which is a condiment commonly used in Asian cuisine, was sold in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec, and may have been distributed in other provinces and territories.
No other cases of the disease have been reported outside of Ontario at this time.
The York Region Health Officer said 12 people were hospitalized and four were treated in intensive care on Sunday within an hour of eating a chicken dish containing the tainted condiment from the Delight Restaurant and BBQ.
The Dright Barry Pakes confirmed on Thursday that the spice tested positive for the toxin aconitine in a public health survey at the Markham restaurant.
He said other packages of Mr. Right brand Keampferia Galanga powder had been found negative, but the retailer voluntarily recalled the product.
Public health officials continue to recommend disposing of the product, regardless of the packaging code, out of “excessive caution,” Pakes said.
“We do not know if there has been any cross-contamination of this product and the consequences of consuming even a small amount are very serious,” he said.
One guest remained hospitalized Thursday afternoon although his condition was improving, according to Mr Pakes.
Symptoms associated with aconitine poisoning can include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, weakness, irregular heartbeat, and in severe cases, death.
The restaurant has been re-inspected and cleared to reopen by local health officials.
In March, the British Columbia Poisons Information Center and the Fraser Health Authority warned the public against consuming Wing Hing-brand artificial galangal powder after two people were hospitalized and then discharged from the hospital.
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