Beijing resident sent to hospital after being served detergent in water

By Chen Ximeng Source:Global Times Published: 2014-1-6 22:43:01

A Beijing resident was poisoned after drinking water containing detergent at a local pizza restaurant, the victim, surnamed Shen, confirmed to the Global Times on Monday.

Shen, who was discharged from hospital on Sunday, said he has not reached a compensation agreement with the Beijing-based Miele Food Import Export, which owns the restaurant. He said he will file a lawsuit against it.

At around 3 pm on December 30, Shen and his wife, surnamed Yu, went to La Pizza, an Italian-style pizza place in Sanlitun, Chaoyang district.

"After taking a gulp of the 'water,' I felt numbness in my mouth and teeth and felt great burning in my throat and stomach," said Shen.

Shen said the service staff then told him that they had mistaken the detergent-laced water for water, which caused his sudden trembling from head to foot and severe pains in his stomach.

An examination report from the 307 Hospital of the People's Liberation Army, where he was admitted, showed that his blood contained benzoic acid, which can damage the body.

"He is better now, but the extent of the damage caused to his internal organs will be clearer after he takes a gastroscopic examination in a week," said Yu.

Zhang Yan, the legal representative of the food company, took responsibility for the incident and said that the cleaner put the detergent into the thermos to clean it, then went off duty without marking it, The Beijing News reported on Monday.

The service staff who came on duty in the afternoon continued to use the thermos to serve water.

The packaging of the detergent says that it should not come into contact with skin or be ingested.

Zhang said responsible staff members have to be punished, adding that the restaurant would like to pay all the medical bills and negotiate regarding compensation.

But Shen said Zhang did not apologize to them until Monday and that they have hired a lawyer to handle the case. 

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