Zhang Jicun has been sentenced to eight years in prison for selling contaminated chicken which led to the death of a 1-year-old girl. (File Photo/Chen Sin-han)
A court in the Beijing district of Fengtai has sentenced Zhang Jicun, an unlicensed chicken shop owner, to eight years imprisonment and a fine of 10,000 yuan (US$1,578) for selling contaminated fried chicken nuggets, resulting in the death of a 1-year-old girl.
Zhang must also pay 29,0000 yuan (US$45,700) in compensation to the victim's family. Zhang said he will appeal the case.
The girl died after eating chicken which contained a nitrite additive 150 times the national standard. The girl's mother is pregnant and her unborn child has been found to have brain and heart damage after the mother ate the same chicken nuggets, according to the Chinese-language news website Jinghua.cn.
The prosecutor in the case reportedly switched the charge for Zhang's crime to a food safety violation instead of the more serious charge of involuntary manslaughter.
Zhang pled guilty to the charges but now says he will appeal his sentence because he feels it is too harsh. Zhang's lawyer has argued that the infant ate other food on the same day she ate the nuggets, which could have contributed to her death.
Zhang Jicun 張繼存