Sixty-nine villagers who fell ill after eating food at a wedding party in Kompong Speu province are in better condition following treatment at a provincial hospital, provincial Governor Ou Bun said Sunday.
The guests became ill after a wedding Thursday in Kong Pisei district, about 30 km from Kompong Speu town, Ou Bun said.
“As it is the largest case of food poisoning ever in Kompong Speu, and [the patients] got food poisoning at a wedding party, our police are investigating this matter,” Ou Bun said.
About three hours after the conclusion of the wedding, which at least 300 people attended, some of the guests began complaining of diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain, Ou Bun said.
Seven trucks transported 61 guests to Kompong Speu provincial hospital, said hospital chief Minh Sovuthy, and eight more guests arrived later. Weakened by dehydration, five of the 42 women and 27 men admitted to the hospital were listed in critical condition, Minh Sovuthy said.
Two chefs were hired for the wedding, Minh Sovuthy said. Both chefs served the same six dishes and wine, but food for the two sides of the family was prepared separately. All of the guests who fell ill consumed food cooked by the chef for the groom’s side, Minh Sovuthy said
Nineteen of the guests have been released from the hospital, and the 50 remaining patients are expected to improve, Minh Sovuthy said. No one has died.
“This is the first time our hospital has taken so many poisoned people. We helped them in time. No one died from food poisoning,” he said.
Samples of food served at the wedding and of the victims’ feces have been sent to a laboratory in Phnom Penh for testing, but the Ministry of Health has not yet received the results, Minh Sovuthy said.