The Ministry of Health urged people to refrain from drinking rice wine that has no clear sources. The appeal came after a string of deaths from tainted wine in several provinces, the latest of which occured in Pursat province.
In a press lease on June 3, the ministry said the latest wine poisoning in two villages in Ansar Chambok commune of Pursat's Krakor district had left seven women dead and 96 others hospitalised.
The ministry said the test results of wine samples taken from the commune revealed that the wine contained high level of methanol, between 9.5 and 15 per cent, far beyond the safe level of 0.5 per cent.
Health minister Mam Bun Heng urged that people across the country stop drinking wine that was not produced according to standards in order to protect their lives.
“Don’t drink wine produced without following technical standards, especially rice wine that is mixed with methanol. For producers and sellers, they must not use methanol to produce wine as it is poisonous and life threatening,” he said.
In the first half of this year, three wine poisoning cases had killed a total of 31 people, including the seven fatalities in Pursat, 14 in Kandal and 10 in Kampot provinces.