There was no theft of nitro salt and there are no deaths from consuming it ›Cuba› Granma

A sack of nitro salt, two tons, a container …, thus the alleged news was inflated on social networks that, in Matanzas, Artemisa or Mayabeque this product had been diverted, whose consumption could have caused the arrival of patients at hospitals with shortness of breath and death from suffocation.

“They stole a shipment of nitro salt and they are selling it as common salt,” they warn in WhatsApp and Facebook groups in which audios have also circulated warning about the death of a teenager from consuming it.

On Facebook it was said that the theft of the product had occurred in warehouses of the Ministry of Internal Trade in Artemisa. The provincial director of Commerce in that territory, Alexis Hidalgo-Gato Jiménez, commented to Granma that “in no warehouse or entity of the commerce system of our province has the product been theft”.

Carlos Cabrera Rodríguez and Yoel Portuondo Savón, directors of the Joa and Frank País salt companies, in Guantánamo, a territory that guarantees most (more than 45%) of the salt production for the regulated basic food basket and social consumption, explained that the assortment in question is not produced in these facilities, nor in any of the units subordinate to the EnSal group in the country.

In addition, all security measures are taken in its premises to avoid deviations from the control of internal inventories.

Authorities from the Ministry of Public Health also told us that no child or adolescent died from ingesting nitro salt, thus denying the rumors that still circulate.

Dr. Ariana Venez Jiménez, director of the Provincial Center for Hygiene, Epidemiology and Microbiology in Guantanamo, commented that to date no adverse event related to nitro salt poisoning or poisoning has been reported. However, the hospital guard corps are always ready to act in any situation.

THE ORIGIN OF THE RUMOR?

Following the thread of the rumor, our team discovered that there was a fact that slightly resembles internet alerts: it has to do with salt, but not with nitro.

It happened in Artemis on the past 1st. November, between 5:00 and 5:30 in the morning, at the ueb Logística of the Los Naranjos Genetic Livestock Company, belonging to the Ministry of Agriculture.

In that entity, which had never reported a criminal act, five kilograms of cure salt were stolen, a product that contains 12% nitro salt, which is not lethal and only if consumed in large quantities causes diarrhea.

According to Luis Agustín Beatón Tamayo, head of security and protection of the company, so far the implicated are unknown and the investigative process continues.

Nitro salt or potassium nitrate, in Cuba, is usually used in the food industry as a preservative agent due to its bactericidal properties. In gastronomy it is used to “cure” meats and sausages, but its direct consumption is considered dangerous, as it can cause intoxication and, in the worst case, death, if ingested in large doses.

Decree-Law No. 9 on Food Safety, and its regulations, Decree No. 18, include sanctions for those who commit food fraud, as in the case of substituting normal salt for nitro salt.

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