A total of 74 people have been hospitalized after eating at a birthday banquet in Hefei, capital of eastern China's Anhui Province.
The patients suffered vomiting, twitching, diarrhoea during the banquet at the Congyang Hotel on Sunday noon, according to Anhui provincial health bureau.
There were a total of 160 people eating at the same restaurant, the bureau official said.
Thus far, 39 of the poisoned, all in a stable condition and not in danger of losing their lives, are still receiving treatment.
Samples of food used at the feast has been collected for investigation, and preliminary analysis showed the food poisoning case was caused by nitrite.
Local public health and security officials are conducting further investigations into the case.
(Xinhua News Agency November 12, 2007)