Milk Tea Poisoning Isolated Case, Philippine Authorities Said

Milk Tea

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Philippine authorities conducting an investigation into the milk tea poisoning that killed two people last week said the case was isolated and did not involve the ingredients in the milk drink.

The Department of Health (DOH), in coordination with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and toxicologists from the UP-Philippine General Hospital (PGH), obtained and studied the footage from the food establishment to aid in assessing the clinical manifestations and course of illness of the victims.

Samples of the milk tea ingested were also submitted for examination.

“Preliminary results were negative for suspected toxic substances. However, we have expanded the tests to include biological samples such as blood, tissues, and gastric contents from the victims as collected during the autopsy,” the toxicologists said.

The situation appears to be an isolated event,the DOH said, pointing to a possible case of poisoning.

The DOH said the case was isolated, adding that it was the third time the couple bought milk tea in the same food establishment.

No untoward incident happened during the previous intake.

“We appeal to the public not to generalize the situation as many small and medium scale enterprises are dependent on the sale of milk tea and similar beverages,” the DOH said.

A joint DOH-DENR Advisory concerning cyanide-containing substances has been issued in 2010.

Taking into consideration the serious health impact of cyanide-containing silver jewelry cleaning solutions, the DOH calls for the immediate passage of a law making the sale and dispensing of these substances a criminal act.

Meanwhile, the DOH urged the local government units to pass ordinances banning these substances in their respective jurisdictions. –