Health officials in Costa Rica confirmed at least 19 people died in June after consuming alcohol contaminated with toxic levels of methanol.
According to The Associated Press, the Costa Rican Ministry of Health said the 14 male and five female victims were between 32- and 72-years-old and consumed the tainted alcohol in various cities around the Central American nation.
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Health officials issued a formal alert after confirming the deaths were caused by methanol poisoning from alcohol consumed in San Jose, Cartago, Limon, Guanacaste and Heredia. As a result of the investigation, more than 30,000 bottles of possibly tainted alcohol have been confiscated.
The Ministry of Health revealed several brands that tested positive for contamination, including Guaro Montano, Guaro Gran Apache, Star Welsh, Aguardiente Barón Rojo, Aguardiente Timbuka and Aguardiente Molotov.
The World Health Organization revealed that methanol poisoning outbreaks are typically associated with “adulterated counterfeit or informally-produced spirit drinks.”
“It is important to emphasize that this information is preliminary since the investigations continue,” Costa Rican officials told The AP. “The Ministry of Health continues to carry out operations throughout the national territory in order to reduce the exposure of consumers to adulterated products.”