Lectin Poisoning – Denmark

Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on reddit
Share on email

45 people became sick, including 24 on one day, in late April from lectin poisoning. The outbreak was limited to a catering company delivering food for another business in the Copenhagen area.

The outbreak was caused by phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) in frozen red kidney beans from Turkey, via Sweden.

The producer of beans is thought to have used blanching for 10 to 15 minutes but they need 30 or 45 minutes of cooking at least.

Symptoms of poisoning include vomiting and diarrhea within a few hours of eating beans that have not been cooked for long enough to reduce this lectin and last for a few hours. Only a few beans are needed to cause poisoning.

Ingestion of the lectins present in certain improperly cooked vegetables can result in acute gastro-intestinal tract distress.

Lectins are naturally occurring proteins that are found in most plants, especially legumes and grains. In small amounts they do not cause issues.

Lectin poisoning is becoming more common, due to the rise in vegan and plant-based meat substitutes.

Photo: Red kidney beans.

While you are here, help us with

Access to Diagnostics

Much of today’s innovation is either not reaching or not suitable for people in developing countries.

Access to Essential Drugs

One third of children, women and men have no access to essential medicines, putting lives at risk.

Data to Improve Health

Faster and reactive systems to help provide lifesaving support to vulnerable communities.

Support our work. It only takes a minute but makes a world of difference!

With your help we can bring modern diagnostics and essential medicines to people in need, track disease outbreaks better and help prevent future pandemics.

Support the WoIDMo's work

We do not rely on government sponsorships to ensure that we can operate independently

Your support is what keeps us going

  • Share this page to help raise awareness
Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on reddit
Share on email
  • Sign up to receive emails with updates on our work

Follow us