DOH spokesman Eric Domingo said the FDA would check the composition of the coconut wine consumed by the victims.
FDA looking into ‘lambanog’ deaths
Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - December 7, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is looking into the deaths of eight persons after drinking “lambanog” or coconut wine in Quezon City and Laguna, an official of the Department of Health (DOH) announced yesterday.

DOH spokesman Eric Domingo said the FDA would check the composition of the coconut wine consumed by the victims.

Domingo said they initiated the probe after four men who drunk lambanog  died in Sta. Rosa City in Laguna on Saturday.

Police identified the fatalities as Roy Basbas, 56; Gonzalo La Torre Jr., 50; Severino Callos, 65, and Hermino Caramay, 65.

Their companions – Antonio Jeremias, 70, and Robert Cruz, 48 – are recuperating at the Philippine General Hospital.

Laguna police director Senior Superintendent Eleazar Matta said they received a report about the incident in Barangay Pooc on Wednesday.

Matta said their investigation showed that the victims complained of stomach pains after drinking lambanog, which they bought from a local store.

The victims died one after the other on Sunday, Barangay Pooc watchman Jimmy Digamon said.

Digamon said bottles of lambanog sold in their barangay usually came from Quezon province.

In Quezon City, four persons died and 13 others were hospitalized after drinking lambanog in Novaliches on Sunday.

Reports said the victims bought the coconut wine from a neighbor.

“The FDA is checking if the product is registered and if the seller has a license to operate. We will get samples of the lambanog for testing,” Domingo said.

He said the public should not patronize food products that are not registered with FDA because their safety and quality cannot be guaranteed.

Lambanog is a local wine made from the fermented sap of a coconut tree. – Emmanuel Tupas

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