The hundreds of people poisoned had drunk lambanog, a drink popular in the provinces and consumed widely during holidays and celebrations – officials are analysing samples
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At least 11 people have died and 300 others treated in hospital after drinking coconut wine in the Philippines.
Some of those poisoned were celebrating at a Christmas party, health and local authorities said today.
They had drunk lambanog, a drink popular in the provinces and consumed widely during holidays and celebrations.
The poisoning happened in Laguna and Quezon, two provinces south of Manila.
Many were admitted to hospitals on the urging of mayor Vener Munoz in Rizal, Laguna, where the tragic deaths occurred between Thursday and Sunday.
Patients poisoned after drinking coconut wine are treated at an emergency ward in the Philippine General Hospital in Manila
Two people who had been in critical condition were improving, he told local radio.
The coconut wine that was consumed had been made in his town, he added.
Blood tests and samples of leftover lambanog are going to be collected and analysed, the Department of Health said.
Those poisoned had drunk lambanog
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)
"All had a sad history of lambanog ingestion," the department said, referring to those poisoned.
"Some bought for leisure drinking and birthday party, while others were donated by local officials during their Christmas party."
Unregulated production and sales of lambanog are common in the Philippines, and it is often made illegally with dangerous additives.
Hundreds have been affected
The country's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has previously warned about the dangerous and prohibited use of methanol as an additive in home brews.
A year ago, the FDA and police were deployed to locate and confiscate unregistered lambanog that was being openly sold to the public, and threatened to prosecute sellers.
Twenty-one people died after consuming lambanog last year, according to reports.