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Tainted Bear Meat Poisons Siberians

December 21, 1997

MOSCOW (AP) _ Scores of people who ate tainted bear meat were hospitalized Sunday in the Siberian town of Zima, a news agency reported.

As many as 61 people, including 28 children, were hospitalized with severe food poisoning, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported. Twelve were diagnosed with acute trichinosis, an intestinal illness.

Regional health officials said an unlicensed hunter killed the bear and smoked the meat without submitting it for a veterinary examination, ITAR-Tass reported.

Up to 50 pounds of the tainted meat was sold in Zima, the report said. The town is located about 140 miles north of the Siberian city of Irkutsk.

Some of the bad bear was also sold in the cities of Sayansk, Angarsk and Irkutsk, where cases of trichinosis also have been reported, the agency said.

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