Home Food CHP Investigates Rare Case of Mad Honey Poisoning

CHP Investigates Rare Case of Mad Honey Poisoning

bottled honey

A rare case of suspected mad honey poisoning has been reported in Hong Kong, prompting health officials to warn the public to be cautious when consuming honey from unknown sources.

A 35-year-old man was hospitalized after developing symptoms of dizziness and vomiting shortly after consuming honey mailed to him from Nepal. The patient was admitted to Kwong Wah Hospital and is currently in stable condition.

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) is investigating the case and has reminded the public to only purchase honey from reputable sources or apiaries. The patient’s honey was reportedly mailed to him by a friend from Nepal, suggesting that the honey may have been contaminated with grayanotoxins, a type of neurotoxin found in certain plants.

Mad honey poisoning occurs when honey contains grayanotoxins, which can cause a range of symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, and weakness. In severe cases, the condition can lead to hypotension, bradycardia, or even shock.

The CHP is working to determine the exact cause of the poisoning and is urging the public to be vigilant when consuming honey. “Mad honey poisoning is a serious condition that can have severe consequences if left untreated,” said a CHP spokesperson. “We urge the public to only purchase honey from reputable sources or apiaries to minimize the risk of contamination.”

The case serves as a reminder of the importance of food safety and the need for consumers to be aware of the potential risks associated with consuming honey from unknown sources.

Members of the public are reminded to take heed of the following preventive advice:

  • Buy honey from a reliable source or apiary;
  • Discard honey with a bitter or astringent taste – grayanotoxin-containing honey may cause a burning sensation in the throat; and
  • Pay special attention to honey from India, Nepal and the Black Sea region of Türkiye as there have been grayanotoxin poisoning cases connected with honey from these areas.