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February 8, 2014
Star News


Public warned about ackee poisoning

Christopher Serju, Star Writer

The public is being warned to be extra careful and guard against ackee poisoning, especially at this time of the year.

"This is the time of year when we should pay keen attention to the incidence of ackee poisoning in Jamaica," Sherika Whitelocke Ballingsingh, poison information co-ordinator of the Caribbean Poison Information Network told The Star.

"Do not consume unripe ackee. Do not consume ackee that has been forcibly open and do not reuse the water in which unripe ackee has been cooked," she continued.

Noting that there is still need for further research on the reasons for the increased risk of ackee poisoning at this time of year, Whitelocke Ballingsingh says it has been linked to the shorter days when there is less sunlight for the plants. However, she insists that arming yourself with information is vital in protecting yourself and family members.

Advising the public to take a vested interest in learning more about this main ingredient in the national dish, Whitelocke Ballingsingh identified Hypoglycin A as the main cause of ackee poisoning, with Hypoglycin B being less toxic but still potentially dangerous.

For more information about ackee or any other queries about poisoning, please call the network at 1-888-764-7667.

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