Bacteria-tainted food sickened 166 people in southern Guangdong and Sichuan provinces in the past few days.
In the most recent case, 40 villagers were rushed to hospital yesterday morning for poisoning symptoms in Jintang County, 40 kilometers from Chengdu, Sichuan's capital.
At least 140 people attended a party held in a villager's home in Zhaojia Town on Wednesday.
Villager Ke Zhenzhao held the house warming party to celebrate his birthday.
Ke cooked pig internal organs on Tuesday. As he had no refrigerator, Ke put the food in a basin and aired it with an electric fan for the night.
However, the food went bad due to hot temperatures, according to local officials.
The guests didn't feel anything until 6am yesterday. The victims, aged 12-46, were in stable condition, and some have been discharged from Jintang No. 1 People's Hospital. Doctors blamed bacteria for the illnesses.
The county government yesterday afternoon ordered restaurant owners to report to health authorities if a dinner involves more than 40 people.
Also in Sichuan, 95 people were poisoned after eating at a restaurant in Suining on Tuesday.
More than 420 people ate at the Jixin restaurant in downtown Suining on Tuesday, when the temperature reached 34 degrees Celsius. The dinner was held for a funeral reception.
Starting from 5pm that afternoon, poisoning symptoms were reported. By Wednesday night, hospitals across Suining received 95 patients, and all of them had attended the funeral reception.
They were listed in safe condition after treatment, and five were released from hospital care.
In another development, 31 secondary school students were sent to hospital on Wednesday morning after eating unhygienic food in Zhanjiang, Guangdong Province. They had eaten at their school canteen and food stands near the school on Tuesday.
(Shanghai Daily July 9, 2004)