Health officials scramble to trace spice product suspected of poisoning Toronto-area restaurant patrons – CBC

5 people remain in hospital after eating dish believed to contain a highly toxic herb

Aug 30, 2022

Health officials are racing to trace supplies of a spice product suspected of poisoning a dozen diners at a Toronto-area restaurant amid concerns it could be on shelves elsewhere in Canada.

At least 12 people fell seriously ill, with four requiring treatment in intensive care, after eating at Delight Restaurant & BBQ in Markham, Ont., on the weekend. Five remained in hospital on Tuesday, and York Region Public Health said they were all expected to fully recover.

Officials believe all 12 consumed the toxin of an aconitum plant, which is popular in traditional Chinese medicine, in a chicken dish at the restaurant.

Aconite toxin affects nerves that control muscles in the body, leading to numbness in the face and extremities, severe gastrointestinal distress and, in some cases, an irregular heartbeat. Ingested in large enough quantities, aconite can induce fatal arrhythmia of the heart.

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