Three persons are reported dead while eight others are in critical condition in Limbe following intoxication over dinner consumed this Thursday August 8, 2019.
Mama Gladys Ebai (66 yrs), daughter Shella Mbeng Ebai (38 yrs), and grand daughter Che Shalom (3 yrs), died of food poisoning after consuming dinner (corn fufu and vegetables).
The other eight who consumed the meal, have been placed under intensive care. According to HiTv Cameroon, the Director of the Regional Hospital Limbe, Dr Denis Samé, says the hospitalized victims are in a stable condition.
Meanwhile, investigations have been opened to ascertain the toxic substances that almost erased an entire family.
The incident sent shock waves down the spines of Limbe denizens who are yet to come to terms with the mystery surrounding the incident.
What led to the tragedy?
Now, two options are possible, it is either an external party intentionally poisoned the food or the incident was caused by food poisoning.
Food poisoning or food intoxication refers to bacteria infection gotten from contaminated food or water, usually characterized by profuse diarrhoea. This can lead to severe dehydration and death if not attended to early. It is not necessarily from a toxic substance added intentionally.
Medical experts have predicted that if the incident was caused by food poisoning, then this could have been as a result of one of these:
- The vegetables may have been cultivated with fertilizer and as such not properly washed.
- The corn may hav been preserved with toxic chemicals to prevent insects from feeding on it and it was not washed before being taken to the grinding mill.
- The salt container may have been a container of a toxic substance or the person that prepared the food may have mistaken fertilizer for salt.
We are however not establishing that the sad incident was as a result of food poisoning. None the less, it is important you understand that not handling food properly could lead to food poisoning which could be deadly.
Views from commentators
The tragic incident is presently a major topic of discussion across different social media platforms. We compiled views from persons who shared their experienced on food poisoning after learning about the tragic incident
“It’s sad !!! Food poisoning is real. I almost died about a month ago. When I ate ekwang not properly cooked by a cousin. Everyone else at home had slight complications but mine was worst but I survived it. Let’s be careful with what we eat please and where we buy from.” our first commentator.
“RIP mum. It should be noted that it must not be poison dropped in the food. I went to the market, bought ripe plantains, fried them myself and ate. I almost died of stomach upset and vomiting. If I was with someone in the house, the person would have been the first suspect. If I took it from a neighbor hmmm… the neighbor would have been locked up for attempted murder.” Second commentator.
“This is bad news. Weeks ago, I ate huckleberry I prepared myself. I had intensive stomach upset for Two day’s but not to the extent of killing almost an entire family.
Toxicity from chemicals are often reduce during the boiling process. Proper research should be conducted for clarification both from the food and close ones. Not withstanding, the world is separately wicked and selfish. God have mercy and protect your children” Third commentator.
“Same happened to me after I ate eru and white garri. My children did too. Thank God we survived. We need to watch what we eat. My condolences to this family.” Fourth commentator.
Some are of the opinion that the food may have been intentionally poisoned considering that infections resulting from food poisoning will take days to manifest. This is of course different from the Limbe incident where manifestations were immediate.
Whatever be the case, the take home is that we need to watch what we eat. As buyers, we should exercise caution when we purchase vegetables and other foodstuff which may be contaminated with toxic chemicals.
As cultivators and farmers, we should also be careful with the chemicals we use in protecting crops from pests and other animals..