500 Poisoned after Durian Found in the Sea Sold in China

By Shumin Tan, September 7, 2020

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More than 500 people in Guangxi recently suffered from food poisoning symptoms after consuming durians found floating in the sea.

In late August, durians were collected from the coastal areas in China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, where they had fallen overboard from a cargo ship. Locals from Dongxing, a city near the border of Vietnam, took advantage by hoarding the floating fruit.

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durian-beach
Screengrabs via QQ

A local resident in Dongxing, surnamed Huang, said that many villagers had collected the fruit on August 26, and resold it at lower prices. Huang herself had bought three durians for the price of RMB40 that day, though it would typically cost RMB100-200 per durian.

“I love eating durian,” said Huang, adding that “The durians tasted fresh, but they were a little salty after soaking in the seawater for so long. They tasted better after I rinsed them with bottled water,” according to Sixth Tone.

It was later revealed that the fruit was contaminated by a marine bacterium, which led to rising cases of food poisoning. 

Researchers and local health authorities at the Guangxi Center for Disease Prevention and Control said that the marine bacterium was known as Vibrio parahaemolyticus. The bacterium is commonly found in sea creatures, which suggests that the durians had become contaminated while floating in the sea. 

After eating the durians, 523 people reported that they were experiencing nausea, stomachaches, diarrhea and vomiting, among other symptoms. Nine people were receiving treatment at a local hospital, as of August 27.

Also nicknamed ‘the king of fruits’, durians have become one of the most imported fruits in China, with Thailand exporting the most.

READ MORE: Durian Chicken Nuggets are a Thing and We Tried Them

[Cover image via Pixabay]

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