11 Dead and More Than 300 Others Treated After Drinking Poisoned Coconut Wine in the Philippines

11 people have died, and 300+ more have been treated, after drinking tainted coconut wine in the Philippines.


Image via Getty/TED ALJIBE

Residents who fell ill after drinking a coconut wine sit outside the emergency ward.

According to health officials and local authorities in the Philippines, at least 11 people have died, while another 300+ have sought medical treatment, after drinking tainted coconut wine.

Officials add that some of those who were poisoned include residents who were celebrating at a Christmas party. 

The contaminated wine was consumed in two provinces, Laguna and Quezon, and all those impacted had ingested the drink, which is a local holiday/celebratory favorite called lambanog.

Vener Muñoz, the Mayor of Rizal, Laguna, which is the town in which the deaths occurred, announced a state of emergency until the situation is dealt with. Subsequently the sale of lambanog has been banished from all of that city's stores.

The death toll in Rizal rose from 7 to 11 on Monday, and Muñoz told local media that the bad batch was made in his town. He also said that two people in critical condition were showing improvement. 

Last year 21 Filipinos died after consuming lambanog. 

ABC News adds that the unregulated production of the beverage is common in the country, and that the lack of oversight leads to dangerous additives often being added to it.

The nation's FDA has issued warnings in the past about the dangers of drinking unregulated lambanog, and they've prohibited the usage of methanol for those who brew it at home. 

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