Beware of Food Poisoning Related to the Giant Alocasia
Taro is a popular ingredient used to prepare various dishes and desserts. However, some plants (e.g. Giant Alocasia) look like taro but containing toxins and can cause food poisoning. Giant Alocasia contains calcium oxalate raphides (a needle-shaped crystal of the chemical) which can injure the skin and mucous membranes of consumers and cause irritation (e.g. numbness and burning sensation of the tongue, mouth and lips, swelling of tongue or lips). Consumption of vegetables that have been accidentally mixed with calcium oxalate raphides-containing plants (e.g. Giant Alocasia) may also cause food poisoning.
Advice to the trade
- The trade should not use the leaves of Giant Alocasia to cover vegetables during transportation and processing
Advice to the public
- Purchase vegetables from reliable suppliers
- Remove any plants mixed with the edible vegetables and wash the vegetables thoroughly before cooking and consumption
Do not pick and consume wild plants