Sixteen people in Beijing have fallen ill after eating
potentially poisonous mushrooms at a branch of the Dayali Roast
Duck restaurant on Tuesday, according to the Beijing
One patient slipped into a coma for several hours and others
suffered nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and dizziness, a spokesman for
the Bo'ai Hospital confirmed.
Six patients who are seriously ill have been transferred to the
307 Hospital of the People's Liberation Army, said the
All 16 diners had eaten dishes containing boletus, a type of
fungus which is for the most part edible but does include some
While food poisoning has been confirmed as the cause of the
sickness outbreak, doctors are still unsure whether or not it is
down to fungus poisoning.
"If it were confirmed to be fungus poisoning, the situation
would be much worse," the spokesman said.
"Fungus poisoning is different from other kinds of food
poisoning in that the fungus toxin harms the human liver directly.
Victims of fungus poisoning will go through a period of 'false
recovery'. Patients will appear to have fully recovered but will
suffer liver problems a few days later.
"Therefore, the patients must stay in hospital for another five
to seven days for observation."
The Dayali restaurant has taken all its dishes containing
boletus off the menu and has sealed up the remaining boletus ahead
of investigations by local health authorities.
"We will inform customers of the results as soon as they are
available," the restaurant manager surnamed Ma said.
The incident is the latest in a string of food scares to affect
the capital in recent months. A total of 132 people fell ill after
eating Amazonian snails in July, a carcinogenic dye was found in
red-yolk duck eggs and turbot was found to have been given banned
(Xinhua News Agency December 29, 2006)