Fraser Health issues warning about potentially toxic sand ginger

Sand ginger powder from Wing Hing Trading Co. at Crystal Mall in Burnaby may contain poisonous monkswood powder, Fraser Health said.

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Fraser Health and the BC Center for Disease Control are warning the public to discard Wing Hing brand sand ginger powder due to potential poisoning risks.

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Sand ginger is a spice commonly used in Chinese cooking. But anyone who purchased the item from Wing Hing Trading Co. at Crystal Mall in Burnaby should not use them because they may contain toxic aconite powder, health officials said.

Monkshood, the common name for a plant called aconitum, has roots that look a lot like ginger root. Also known as aconite, the plant contains a toxin called aconitine which can cause nausea, vomiting, dizziness, weakness, irregular ventricular contractions, and in severe cases, death.

Two people came to hospital in early February with heart irregularities after consuming what they thought was ginger sand powder, Fraser Health said.

Wing Hing Sand Ginger Powder was sold in 70 gram packs. There is no batch identification information on the packaging. Anyone in possession of this powder is urged to dispose of it immediately.

If you experience symptoms of poisoning, seek medical attention and call the BC Drug and Poison Information Center at 604-682-5050 or 1-800-567-8911.

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Freeda S. Scott