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Health officials warns public not to consume two spices amid Markham, Ont., probe

York Region public health has alerted the public not to consume two products linked to a food poisoning investigation after 12 diners who ate at a Markham, Ont., restaurant last weekend became seriously ill.

Dr. Barry Pakes, the region’s chief medical officer of health, said Thursday that Mr. Right brand Kaempferia Galanga Powder, a common spice in Asian cuisine, and Mr. Right brand Radix Aconiti Kusnezoffii, which may be used as a traditional herbal medicine, should not be used.

He said the suspected products have been removed from known retail locations in York Region, as local public health continues to work with provincial and federal partners to limit exposure to the product.

Twelve people went to local hospitals and four were treated in intensive care on Sunday within about an hour of eating the same chicken dish from Delight Restaurant and BBQ. Three were still in intensive care as of Wednesday, though public health said their conditions were improving. Another person who had been admitted to the ICU had left hospital.

York Region public health is alerting the public to two products linked to a food poisoning investigation at a Markham, Ont., restaurant. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO- York Region Public Health)

At this point in the investigation, Pakes said there is a “strong indication” the illnesses were caused by a spice product contaminated with aconite, a toxin sometimes called called wolfsbane or monkshood, but lab results are expected later this week.

Pakes has said there is no indication that the contamination was intentional.

Health officials said the restaurant passed a re-inspection on Wednesday and has been cleared to open.

Symptoms of aconite poisoning include numbness in the face and extremities, severe gastrointestinal distress and an irregular heartbeat.

It can also cause nausea, vomiting, cramping and muscle weakness, and can be fatal if consumed in large enough quantities.

Delight Restaurant & BBQ on Markham Rd. can be seen above.

In March, B.C.’s poison information centre and the Fraser Health authority warned the public not to consume Wing Hing-brand sand ginger powder after two people were hospitalized and later recovered.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 1, 2022.

Read More:Health officials warns public not to consume two spices amid Markham, Ont., probe