Food poisoning affects 27 in country pagoda
Twenty-seven monks and nuns from Battambang province’s Bavel district were struck with food poisoning after consuming large amounts of soy milk.
District police chief Oeum Tith said yesterday that 14 monks and 13 nuns from the Bavel pagoda started showing symptoms of food poisoning after an ordination ceremony. They are all in a stable condition after being sent to the commune’s health center.
“The main cause is likely the homemade soy milk because about 10 to 15 minutes after they drank it, they started displaying symptoms of food poisoning. However we’re still waiting on the official results from the experts,” Mr. Tith said.
Provincial health department officer Voeung Bun Reth said a preliminary investigation showed the tainted soy milk to have been the cause, coupled with the fact that the recently-ordained monks had consumed it in large amounts as a food substitute.
“Young monks aren’t used to skipping dinner. So they drank too much soy milk after they were ordained yesterday morning,” he said.
“Once they are ordained, they cannot have dinner based on the rules of the religion, so they drank too much soy milk instead, which caused them to vomit. But now they’re better and there is no problem.” He also urged anyone producing or consuming food products to pay special attention to food safety guidelines to avoid making consumers ill.
In a recent workshop on the monitoring of food poisoning cases, the deputy general technical director for health, Dr. Phou Leang, said 15 people had died from food poisoning in 2016.
While the figure was lower than that of 2015, he urged more care in food production operations as 703 people fell ill from food poisoning last year, 660 of whom had to be hospitalized.
In January, 197 students in Pursat province were hospitalized with food poisoning after eating leftovers from a ruling CPP congress. No deaths were reported.
That same week, 37 people, 22 of whom were children, also had food poisoning after consuming tainted noodles in Siem Reap province. The plastic packaging of the noodles was found to have caused the illness.
According to Camcontrol, the governmental body in charge of food safety inspection, up to 30 tons of tainted food was destroyed in 2016 after various spot checks nationwide.
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