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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 April 2007, 04:48 GMT 05:48 UK
China hospital food sickens many
Rats (file image)
The focus of the investigation is on rat poison
One person has died and more than 200 have fallen ill after eating porridge suspected of containing rat poison at a hospital in China, reports say.

Patients and staff who ate the porridge had been suffering from nausea and diarrhoea, the Xinhua news agency said.

A 77-year-old woman who was admitted to the hospital with breathing problems had died after eating the breakfast.

Hospital sources in the city of Harbin in Heilongjiang province said the others were in a stable condition.

"All the victims ate porridge, and investigators suspected the water had been contaminated by rat poison," Xinhua news agency said.

The agency said the hospital, one of the best-equipped in Heilongjiang province, had been shut down after the poisoning.

Almost 100 children in south-west China fell ill last September after eating porridge and steamed bread at a primary school.

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