A child patient is treated at Đồng Nai General Hospital due to poisoning caused by Minh Chay vegan pâté. — VNA/VNS.Photo Lê Xuân
HCM CITY — The National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on Tuesday instructed departments of agriculture and rural development in provinces and cities and Food Safety Management Boards in HCM City, Đà Nẵng and Bắc Ninh to work together to resolve the food poisoning cases of Minh Chay vegan pâté.
The product was contaminated with Clostridium botulinum type B bacteria, which produces dangerous toxins blocking nerve functions, which can lead to respiratory and muscular paralysis and even death.
Dr Nguyễn Văn Hảo, head of the department of emergency aid - intensive resuscitation - treatment of poisoning for adults at the city Hospital for Tropical Diseases, said the mortality rate is up to 20 per cent of contaminated patients.
Minh Chay vegan pâté is made by the Lối sống mới Company in Hà Nội.
The Việt Nam Food Administration has ordered health departments and management boards to recall the product and 12 others of the company.
The administration has told Hà Nội police to investigate and treat the problem.
In HCM City, the Food Safety Management Board had identified 1,290 people who bought 1,559 boxes of vegan pâté as of Tuesday, Phạm Khánh Phong Lan, the board’s head, said at a press meeting on Tuesday.
The board has contacted 1,101 people. Many people bought the product to present to their relatives and friends in other provinces such as Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province.
It has called relevant agencies in these provinces to warn users and has recalled 103 products, accounting for 10 per cent of the total sold in the market.
Food Safety Management Board staff recall products from the Lối sống mới Company. VNA/VNS Photo Đinh Hằng
“Because the company’s products are sold online and in small vegan food shops, recalling all of them has been difficult,” Lan said.
The board also warned that consumers should stop using the company’s products.
Dr Hảo, of the city Hospital for Tropical Diseases, said that on July 27 the department admitted a female patient from the Mekong Delta province of Long An in respiratory and muscular paralysis.
The department’s doctors at first diagnosed that she suffered from a disease relating to nerves.
However, they also admitted a member of the first patient's family who was in the same situation as the female patient. Doctors were told that the patients had eaten the Minh Chay vegan pâté. After testing, doctors said they had been poisoned by the clostridium botulinum bacterium.
After more than a month of treatment, they are in serious condition and are still using a ventilator. Their muscular strength has not improved.
Hảo advised that users of the vegan pâté should visit the nearest health facilities.
As of Wednesday, more than 20 patients have been poisoned after eating the product and have been treated in hospitals in Hà Nội, HCM City, and Đồng Nai Province. — VNS