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Ministry holds workshop to train Kratie rice wine brewers

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A vendor in Phnom Penh pours rice wine into a bottle. Pha Lina

Ministry holds workshop to train Kratie rice wine brewers

The Ministry of Industry and Handicraft organised a training workshop on Thursday in Kratie province on how to make rice wine.

The workshop was conducted following the case of toxic rice wine that killed several people and hospitalised many others in the province last month.

Kratie provincial governor Khan Chamnan, who presided over the workshop, told The Post that experts from the ministry trained the rice wine vendors to make the brew properly.

“During the training, we taught them the technical standards of making rice wine and the impact on consumers’ health and safety if it was not met,” he said.

He noted that all rice wine vendors in the province’s five districts and one city were obligated to attend the workshop before resuming production.

Chamnan said that in order to ensure the quality of rice wine, attending the workshop was a crucial part as it will help promote the local product and assure the people’s wellbeing.

Ministry of Industry and Handicraft deputy director of the standard’s department, En Sambo, said the workshop demonstrated the steps to make rice wine.

“All ingredients must be clean and safe. Do not mix wine with methanol because it can harm customers’ health,” he said.

On October 23, the authorities shut down all rice wine operations in the province.

Responding to the temporary ban, Tor Sochan, a brewer from the province’s Sambor district said it should be applied to only untrained and unlicensed brewery owners.

Brewers that respect the law, he said, should be exempted.

Sochan said his rice wine is produced from 100% rice and will not affect the health of consumers.

Kratie provincial industry and handicraft department head Ny Chhun did not specify exactly when the breweries will be reopened or when production and distribution of rice wine in the province will resume.

During the workshop, Chhun told participants to ask for permission from the relevant authority, before selling rice wine again.

“We need to inspect the quality of their rice wine to determine whether or not their product adheres to the technical standards. We will do this before the authority gives the vendors permission to sell their wine,” he said.

At least five people died and 40 others were hospitalised after they drank rice wine served at a funeral reception on October 18.

The victims suffered fatigue, headache, diarrhoea, and dizziness, and vomited after consuming the wine.

In May, toxic rice wine killed 14 people and made dozens of others sick in the province’s Kantout commune, Chitr Borei district.

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