Wed | Aug 16, 2017

Health ministry reports two cases of ackee poisoning, urges caution

Published:Wednesday | May 4, 2016 | 5:02 PM
Ackee should be allowed to open naturally and fully on the tree before it is picked and eaten or sold.

The Health Ministry is urging people not to eat ackees that were forced open because it can be poisonous.

According to the ministry, since the start of the year, there have been two cases of ackee poisoning.

"Ackee should be allowed to open naturally and fully on the tree before it is picked and eaten or sold," said Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Winston De La Haye.

"They should not be opened by force, or by using a knife or any other implement," he warned urging consumers to take all precaution to ensure the fruit is properly prepared.

Why ackee can cause poisoning:
*Ackee contains high levels of a toxin called hypoglycin if it is not properly ripened
*Hypoglycin can lead to death is consumed

Symptoms of ackee poisoning:
*Vomiting
*Stomach cramps
*Abdominal pain
*Dizziness
*Diarrhoea
*Sweating.

What to do when experiencing these symptoms:
*Seek medical attention immediately
*Have a sweet drink while on your way to the health centre or hospital.