The Vietnam Food Administration under the Ministry of Health yesterday sent an official dispatch to the Department of Health of the Mekong Delta Province of Tien Giang requesting to verify the culprit of the poisoning cases resulting in two deaths and one hospitalization in Hoa Hung Commune in Cai Be district after drinking powdered dairy product.
The food safety watchdog also requested the Department of Health of Tien Giang Province to coordinate with the Department of Health of Vinh Long to direct hospitals where the patients are treated to focus on curing them.
At the same time, the food watchdog directed responsible agencies to coordinate with local product management agencies to trace the origin of milk products which was suspected to be the culprit of two deaths and one hospitalization by taking samples for testing while asking the stoppage of the dairy product circulation in the market. Local authorities must pay a visit to the production facility and suspend dairy product production facilities. After the test result is produced, investigation bodies must publicize it in mass media.
According to investigation agencies’ initial information, on the morning of October 14, an 85-year-old Pham Thi Phan found her 45-year-old son dead. The family thought he died of a disease, so they did not report his death to the local authorities but held a funeral.
In the evening of the same day, the old woman drank a glass of powdered milk prepared by her daughter. Immediately afterward, Ms. Phan showed signs of chest tightness, difficulty breathing, and vomiting and died after about 5 minutes. Her family thought she also died due to illness so they did not report it to the local authorities as well.
However, another son of the old woman drank a glass of the powdered milk while attending her funeral in the next day; the man soon developed symptoms of headache, dizziness, and vomiting after drinking only 50ml of the powdered milk.
His family immediately rushed him to the general hospital in Vinh Long Province where he was decided to transfer to Ho Chi Minh City-based Cho Ray Hospital for further treatment with a diagnosis of acute milk poisoning.
Currently, the authorities are carrying out further investigations for clarification of the culprit.