Saturday, June 22, 2024

20 sickened after eating ‘poisoned’ enchiladas in Hidalgo

Around 20 people became ill on Sunday after eating enchiladas sold by a roving street vendor in a city in northeastern Hidalgo.

Residents of Huejutla and people from the neighboring state of Veracruz reportedly experienced symptoms such as stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, headache and dizziness after eating enchiladas sold by a woman in the center of the city, including at the bus station.

Many of those who fell ill soon after consuming the enchiladas had to be treated in hospital.

There were varying reports about the number of people who suffered symptoms of food poisoning, but the general consensus was about 20. Children were reportedly among those who became ill.

The Milenio newspaper reported Monday that it’s believed the enchiladas contained a “toxic substance.”

Adela Ramírez of Cerro Azul, Veracruz, told Milenio that her daughter, son-in-law and her two brothers were all in hospital.

“What I was told is that the cause [of their illness] was eating some poisoned enchiladas,” she said.

The director of the Huasteca Regional Hospital in Huejutla said in an interview that four people were being treated there and that a 24-year-old patient was in a “critical state.”

Armando Escudero said that the patients’ symptoms suggested the food poisoning may have been caused by organophosphates.

“Organophosphates are used as insecticides, medications, and nerve agents,” according to Wikipedia.

stretcher being loaded into an ambulance
Multiple people were hospitalized and one patient was reported to be in critical condition after the incident. (Leonardo Herrera/X)

Symptoms of organophosphate poisoning “include increased saliva and tear production, diarrhea, vomiting, small pupils, sweating, muscle tremors, and confusion.”

TV Azteca reported that initial clinical studies indicated that the food poisoning was caused by pesticide contamination of the enchiladas.

According to a report by the El Universal newspaper, authorities attempted to locate the woman who was selling the typical dish but had no luck. TV Azteca reported that nothing is known about the vendor.

Other popular Mexican dishes have been the cause of cases of food poisoning that have sickened a large number of people.

More than 30 people became ill after eating contaminated cochinita pibil — a marinated pork dish — at a market in Seyé, Yucatán, in 2022, while a similar number got sick after consuming bad barbacoa — a dish usually made with mutton or lamb — at a Mother’s Day event in San Sebastián Coatlán, Oaxaca, in 2019.

With reports from Milenio, El Universal, Quadratín and TV Azteca

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