Man Poisoned After Eating 'Potentially Lethal' Homegrown Courgettes
A novice gardener has claimed he was poisoned by his first ever home-grown courgette.
Michael Andrews says he became violently ill with a condition known as 'toxic squash syndrome' after attempting to become more sustainable by growing his own food.
The 64-year-old suffered sickness and diarrhoea after just a tiny mouthful of the veg he cultivated at his home in Wetwang, east Yorkshire, and had served with a mixed grill.
Michael explained: "I can't describe what it was like, the taste was instantly horrific. I felt that Satan himself had done his business on my tongue.
"My mouth was on fire. I was desperately ill, shaking and sweating. I slept solidly for two days and two nights and I was having mad, hallucinogenic dreams.
"As I put it in my mouth, I instantly knew something was wrong. I told my wife to spit hers out and thankfully she managed to. I only swallowed a very small piece.
"I thought it was perhaps the grill, the foil or the vegetable oil that had caused the foul taste. But then I went online and couldn't believe the information I discovered.
"Some poor chap had even died after eating a stew he had made. I decided to ring 111 and explained what had happened. When the clinician called me back, I wasn't feeling too bad, but the taste wouldn't go no matter what I did.
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"I was told to keep an eye on my symptoms and went to bed. But at 2.47am, I was in a bad way and from that point I was up until 7am being violently ill. I didn't move from my bed until Friday [24 July] when I managed to get a shower.
"I feel rubbish and have a constant, dull headache. It's knocked me out. It's the worst illness that I've ever had and really worrying that it isn't an issue that has been highlighted further - people need to be aware of it.
The director of a music management company, added: "My concern is that someone who had a pre-existing illness or somehow ate more of it would become gravely poorly. It's potentially lethal.
"I'm amazed by it all, I would never have thought a courgette would cause this. I'll never eat a courgette again and just the thought of it makes me feel unwell."
Guy Barter, Chief Horticulturalist of the Royal Horticultural Society, said: "There are several different types of courgette fruits, some that are not bitter and perfectly safe to eat, whilst others, such as ornamental gourds, are full of a nasty and quite toxic material.
"I've been growing vegetables for many years and this is the first time I have ever encountered seeds that have been sold commercially to have such a problem.
"You can't be too careful with your health and anyone who does eat it should seek medical advice. I've never seen anything like this before and I hope I never see anything like it again."
Featured Image Credit: Cascade News
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