A man in Hong Kong had to seek emergency medical treatment after eating honey that was laced with naturally occurring neurotoxins, known as ‘mad honey‘. His friend had brought the honey back from Nepal, and it caused ‘weakness, numbness, chills and shortness of breath‘ within 45 minutes of the gentleman eating a spoonful.

While rare, this is not an isolated incident and cases of neurotoxin honey poisoning have been reported around the world. The article makes for an interesting read and contains the warning below. If you buy or eat honey on your travels, make sure it comes from a reputable source!

From Today

Hong Kong man suffers from rare ‘mad honey’ poisoning

An investigation by the centre found that the honey involved was brought from Nepal by the victim’s friend. The authorities reminded members of the public to buy honey from a reliable source or apiary, and to discard it if it had a bitter or astringent taste as honey containing grayanotoxin could cause a burning sensation in the throat.

Travellers to areas such as the Black Sea region of Turkey, North America, Korea, Japan, Nepal and New Zealand should pay special attention as there have been reported cases of grayanotoxin poisoning that were attributed to honey from these areas.

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