60 people get food poisoning from spinach-like wild plant
ISTANBUL – Demirören News Agency
More than 60 people were hospitalized in Istanbul and the neighboring Tekirdağ province between Nov. 1 and 4 with symptoms of food poisoning after consuming spinach mixed with a wild plant, according to officials.
“Forty-four citizens applied to medical facilities across Istanbul between Nov. 1 and 3 because of food poisoning caused by spinach and plants which look similar, and 25 of them were discharged,” said the provincial health directorate in Istanbul late on Nov. 3.
None of the 44 patients were in life-critical condition, it added.
The provincial directorate of agriculture and forestry in Istanbul said that after analyzing samples taken from markets and households, they found out that some wild plants were mixed with spinach.
“It has been established by the analysis that food poisoning was caused by wild plants from the Solanaceae family that included atropine and scopolamine,” a statement by the directorate on Nov. 4 said.
The directorate of agriculture also said that they would continue to send more samples to the laboratories and warned citizens to check and clean vegetables carefully before consuming.
“Normally, all sort of controls should be made at the production sites. We have no concrete information on the cause of the poisoning outbreak,” said Recep Toktürk, vice-chair of the marketplace federation of Turkey.
Regular controls are being made in the main marketplace of Istanbul in the district of Bayrampaşa strictly, however, only half of the vegetables and fruits are sold to local markets in the metropolis, he added.
Meanwhile, at least 22 people also applied to hospitals with symptoms of dizziness and vomiting in the northwestern province of Tekirdağ, according to the provincial health directorate. They included 20 workers who ate spinach at dinner given at the night shift in the district of Çerkezköy.
One of the other two patients in the district of Süleymanpaşa suffered temporary memory lapse, the directorate said.