A street food vendor in Guangzhou, China, was arrested this week after his specialty of seasoned duck necks accidentally poisoned eight people.
According to Shanghaiist, the vendor’s duck neck skewers were liberally seasoned with an excess of nitrites, which is believed to have been the source of the problem when eight customers were suddenly taken ill after eating them. Seven of the customers reported only mild symptoms, but one victim — a 24-year-old man — collapsed with a rapid heartbeat and sweating, and his lips and tongue turned purple. That man was hospitalized in critical condition, and doctors said the poisoning would have been fatal if he had not made it to the hospital so quickly.
Doctors said the man’s blood test indicated that nitrite poisoning was the cause of the attack. The duck neck vendor’s food preparation area was reportedly filthy and unsanitary. Police suspect that a box of salt found on the ground was the source of the nitrite overdose.