Officials in York Region are reminding residents to check their shelves for a spice product recalled due to aconite contamination after one person was hospitalized because of potential exposure to the toxin.
In a news release on Wednesday, officials said the resident is believed to have been exposed to aconite as a result of accidentally consuming the same spice responsible for aconite poisoning last summer that sent a dozen people to the hospital.
In August, several people fell ill after dining at a restaurant in Markham. The establishment was temporarily closed as health officials investigated the cause. They sent food samples to a laboratory for testing, and one of the spices – Mr. Right’s Keampferia Galanga Powder – came back positive for aconite.
As a result, the sand ginger powder, which has a product code AT154, was recalled on Sept. 1. Local officials worked with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Ontario Ministry of Health and the product’s supplier to ensure that the powder was removed from food establishments and grocery stores.
“The recalled product is toxic and can cause severe illness and death if not treated immediately and should not be consumed, used, sold, served or distributed,” officials said, adding that the product has not been distributed or sold since the recall was issued.
“York Region once again strongly urges any residents and businesses to review the contents of their kitchens to ensure they do not have any of this product and to dispose of it immediately, if found.”
Officials said food contaminated with aconite may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick.
They added that symptoms of aconite poisoning, which include numbness to lips, face and extremities, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and weakness, usually appear within minutes to hours of consumption.
“If you have consumed the recalled product and are experiencing symptoms, seek immediate medical attention,” officials said.