The Ministry of Health announced on May 25 that test results from wine taken from Kampot province’s Kampong Trach district revealed high levels of methanol.
“Six of the 11 samples contained methanol levels of 0.2 to 11.9 per cent. Any amount above 0.1 per cent is toxic,” the ministry said.
The ministry stated that the results revealed the cause of death and illness from May 21 to 24 in Thnung village of Russey Srok Kang Koeut commune and in Kngab village of Svay Tong Kaang Choeung commune of the district after villagers had drunk the wine.
The ministry said that 56 people in the communes were affected.
However, on the evening of May 25, of the patients admitted to the hospital in the district, 10 had died and the others had returned home.
Ministry of Health Mam Bun Heng said people should not drink rice wine produced without the proper process and authentication. Wine establishments were banned from mixing methanol with the wine.
He requested town and district authorities and commune administrations assign police to inspect wine businesses and prevent wine production, and advised people to avoid mixing wine with methanol.
“If brothers and sisters have health problems or symptoms of wine poisoning or suspect that you have other contagious diseases, please seek medical attention and consult a state hospital near your house or contact health officials,” he said.