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Food Poisoning Hits Workers
Ten factory workers sickened on Wednesday by food poisoning in the Panyu District of Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province, were still in hospital for further observation.

"But their lives are not in danger and they are expected to leave hospital for home in two or three days," a doctor from Guangzhou No 12 People's Hospital said Thursday.

The 10 victims are among the more than 200 workers struck with food poisoning on Wednesday evening.

Apart from the 10 seriously ill victims, the others had a mild case and were discharged from hospital, the doctor said.

By yesterday noon, more than 200 workers had been sent to seek medical care, the doctor added. Of them, 90 per cent were women who come from outside Guangdong Province.

More than 100 of the victims had to be put on an intravenous drip and receive gastric lavage treatment.

All the victims are workers from a plastic factory in Yuwotou Township in the Panyu District of Guangzhou. The overseas-funded factory on the mouth of the Pearl River employs more than 1,000 workers.

The victims began to show signs of food poisoning at about 8 pm after they had dinner in the factory's canteen.

They began to report headaches and vomiting after eating dinner at about 6 pm. Some also suffered from a high fever and felt very tired.

The ill people were immediately sent to a local township hospital for emergency treatment. The 10 serious cases were later transferred to Guangzhou No 12 People's Hospital, where equipment and technology are much better.

The workers were soon diagnosed with food poisoning, the doctor said. Half-cooked French beans are the suspected culprits.

The incident is one of the worst instances of food poisoning ever reported in Guangdong Province, and the first serious food-poisoning case this year.

The incident has also stirred up a lot of concern among the Guangdong provincial and Guangzhou municipal governments.

(China Daily January 25, 2003)

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