China bans sale of mud snails after vomiting cases

July 20th, 2012 - 7:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, July 20 (IANS) China’s health ministry Friday banned the sale of Nassariidae, a small mud snail species, that have reportedly caused people to faint and vomit after eating them.

The ministry said that after eating them, people could feel the snails’ poisonous effects within five minutes to four hours.

The poison, which comes from tetrodotoxin, a toxin usually found in pufferfish, has no known antidote, Xinhua reported.

The snail mostly inhabits the southeastern coastal areas including those in Zhejiang, Fujian and Guangdong provinces.

Summer and autumn were high risk periods for Nassariidae poisoning.

Food production and management companies will not be allowed to purchase, process or sell such snails, and consumers should raise awareness and refrain from buying them, the ministry said.

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