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10 die after eating dog meat

10 die after eating dog meat

Cambodian health officials have been sent to a north-eastern district where 10 people died and more than 100 became seriously ill in two separate incidents linked to the consumption of dog meat and rice wine.

Kratie provincial health department chief Chhneang Sivutha said experts from the UN's World Health Organisation were also investigating the incidents, both in Snuol district.

He said people in the province have been warned not to eat the meat of animals that have died from illness or poisoning, and not to drink wine that has not been properly inspected.

Six people died on Sunday after eating the barbecued carcass of a dog that had died of unknown causes. Four others died after drinking rice wine on Tuesday.

Mr Sivutha said samples of the dog meat and wine had been collected and sent to the Health Ministry in the capital, Phnom Penh, for laboratory testing.

He said poisoning cases are not unusual, but it is rare to have so many victims at the same time.

Food safety is not a priority in Cambodia, one of Asia's poorest countries. The country has had to grapple with bird flu, with 56 confirmed cases of human infection since 2003 - 37 of them fatal.

Rice wine is particularly popular in rural areas, where it is cheap and usually infused with fruits or plants believed to have medicinal value.