Are Tapioca Pearls to Blame for the Recent Milk Tea Deaths?

Just recently, two people died almost instantly after drinking milk tea from a shop in Manila. But what really caused this incident?

The Department of Health announced that there was no trace of toxic substances found. Heath Secretary Janet Garin stated that the milk tea samples that killed both the owner and the customer last week were tested negative of four poisonous substances, however it does not mean that there was really no toxic substance she said.

Garin pointed out that they also worked with the toxicologists from the Philippine General Hospital to assess the “clinical manifestations and course of illness” of the victims. As of now, there are looking for possibilities of what might the cause of death of both the customer and the owner.

However, recently, a netizen named Roan Ruanto posted a status on Facebook that the Tapioca Pearls might be the culprit. He said,

Tapioca Pearls!!! eto ung commonly na linalagay sa mga milktea! naisip ko buti nalang at hindi ako nagpapalagay ng mga pearls kapag bumibili ako ng milktea dati! Nabasa ko ang description ng Tapioca sa wikipedia”.

What about Tapioca Pearls? Is it true that it can cause death?

Photo Credit:
Photo: Credit: House of Chiubelleville

Now we did a few research on Tapioca Pearls since a lot popular refreshments in the Philippines actually has this ingredient.

According to Time, Cassava root, which is used to make tapioca can actually be deadly if prepared incorrectly. It is even listed in the Top Ten Most Dangerous Foods.

If the tapioca pearls were not really prepared correctly, it may really have caused the poisoning. However, on another angle, it was even reported in Philstar that the evidences were “cleaned” by the helper with the alias Raymundo Santos who was summoned by  the store owner’s son Lloyd Abrigo.

But what really caused these mysterious deaths? Is it the tapioca pearls or is it something else?

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