(CMR) Seven people, including a three-year-old, died on Tanzania's Pemba island after eating poisonous turtle meat last Thursday. Three others were also hospitalized after at least five families on Pemba island consumed the meat.
According to BBC, turtle meat is a common delicacy among those living on Tanzania's islands and coastal areas but the authorities have now banned the consumption of turtles in the area. In rare cases turtle meat can be toxic due to a type of food poisoning known as chelonitoxism.
The exact cause of chelonitoxism is unknown, but it is thought to be linked to poisonous algae which the turtles eat.
In a message on Twitter, Zanzibar's President Hussein Mwinyi sent his condolences to the families affected.
The poisoning can have the worst impact on children and older people, though healthier adults can also succumb, the Turtle Foundation says.
In March in Madagascar, 19 people, including nine children, died after eating turtle meat. Cases have also been reported in Indonesia, Micronesia and India's Indian Ocean islands, BBC reported.