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Food poisoning: Over 30 taken ill

Fermented soya bean: Representational image

Aizawl: Over 30 people were taken sick of which 15 people are hospitalised at Mamit district hospital due to reported food poisoning, after consuming bekang um (fermented soya bean) in Mizoram-Tripura border Darlak village, village council president (VCP) of the village Mankhuma said on Sunday.

Mankhuma told Zoram Chronicle over phone from Darlak that a number of families purchased fermented soybean from one person on Thursday, who was selling the fermented soybean door-to-door and some people who ate the fermented soybean were having problems like loose motions, stomach pain and vomiting.

“However, those who were taken sick on Thursday evening did not suspect that they were ill due to consumption of fermented soybean. As more people began having problems that they went to the district hospital only on Friday,” the VCP said.

No loss of life have been reported till date while majority of the sick people are being treated at home due to acute shortage of hospital beds in the Mamit district hospital, he said.

There are some families who have bought the fermented soybean from the one who sold them but have not eaten it, the VCP said, adding that the sample of the fermented soybean will be tested in a laboratory on Monday.

Food poisoning due to consumption of fermented soybean, one of the delicacies of the Mizos and other tribal communities in the northeast region, had caused serious health problems and even deaths in the past.

Doctors and state Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials said that food poisoning can happen when the soybean is treated with pesticide/insecticide in order to preserve it for seeds as well as unhygienic handling of the utensils used for cooking of the soybean and materials used for packing. 

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