Costa Rica officials say tainted alcohol kills at least 19

22 Juillet, 2019, 17:10 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Costa Rica officials say tainted alcohol kills at least 19

Costa Rica's Ministry of Health issued a nationwide warning after at least 19 people were killed due to methanol poisoning from contaminated alcohol consumption, according to NBC New York.

The victims, aged from 32 to 72, include 14 men and five women.

The Health Ministry on Friday said the deaths occurred in June and July in San José, Cartago, Limón, Guanacaste and Heredia.

Health chiefs urged caution among anyone drinking beverages made by the Guaro Montano, Guaro Gran Apache, Aguardiente Estrella, Aguardiente Barón Rojo, Aguardiente Timbuka and Molotov Aguardiente brands.

The Ministry of Health warned against consuming booze from a number of brands because samples had tested positive for methanol adulteration. Because it is not possible to distinguish the counterfeit product from the real one, the ministry said people should avoid selling or consuming the brands.

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Aguardiente translates to English as "fire water". Adding methanol to distilled spirits enables sellers to increase the amount of liquid and its potential potency, according to SafeProof, a group that lobbies against counterfeit alcohol.

"It is important to emphasize that this information is preliminary since the investigations continue", the statement said.

Methanol poisoning can cause a range of side effects ranging from headaches and dizziness to seizures, coma and blindness, according to the Centres for Disease Control.

'The Ministry of Health continues to carry out operations throughout the national territory in order to reduce the exposure of consumers to adulterated products'.

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