Fifty-nine-year-old Bun Pek died in Tbong Khmum province on Saturday after ingesting red toad’s eggs, said Choam Krovean commune police chief Beng Rithy.
Pek was from the commune’s Robang Chroh village.
Health officials warned residents against eating the eggs in response to the incident.
Rithy said Pek ate the eggs with wine the morning after eating a portion of red toad meat, against the advice of his wife.
He said Memot district police examined his body and confirmed Pek died from poisoning caused by the eggs.
“At night, he ate its meat, and the next morning he took the eggs to drink with wine. His wife forbid him from eating the eggs and told him to beware of poison.
“He replied that it was okay because he used to eat them. His family is not poor ... but [they] still eat red toad’s eggs. We couldn’t rescue him at the hospital in time,” Rithy said.
Rithy said this is the first case of red toad egg poisoning this year in Pek’s village as most of the villagers knew that the eggs are poisonous.
Provincial health department director Keo Vannak told The Post that it was common knowledge that red toad’s eggs contained toxins that could be life-threatening.
Vannak said the victim insisted on eating the red toad’s eggs and that it can be difficult to teach people not to eat certain foods.
A small number of people neglect to get poisoned patients to the hospital in time, which can cause the patient’s condition to worsen quickly, Vannak said.
“We will continue to spread the information so that our people can understand what food is toxic and not let them eat it again.
“In the past, we have educated [them], not just [on] red toad’s eggs, but other foods that are toxic. But some [people] can be arrogant. They eat it despite knowing the dangers,” Vannak said.
Vannak called on local authorities to continue to cooperate with doctors to change the behaviour of people in all communities who still risk their lives by eating toxic foods.
Last year, there was also a case of red toad’s egg poisoning in Koh Keo Krom village in Koh Keo commune, Lvea Em district, Kandal province.
One person died in the incident immediately after consuming steamed red toad’s egg with rice. The victim who vomited several times could not be saved.
The same year, three sisters in Puok district’s Trakiet village in Siem Reap province’s Muk Pen commune were also poisoned by the eggs. One of the sisters died from the poison.