Nepali security guard recounts feeling ill and dizzy after consuming durian coffee

PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network

GEORGE TOWN: Nepalese Sapkota Mangal Prasad tried durian coffee for the first time and did not like the taste.

He poured it away after just a few sips but five minutes later, he started feeling ill and dizzy.

“I could not walk properly and later I couldn’t even open my eyes,” said the 45-year-old security guard of a condominium tower in Pulau Tikus at Penang Hospital yesterday.

A video clip which went viral showed Sapkota appearing to be hysterical while another man was slumped in his seat.

The other man was Nepalese Bishnu Shrestha, 31, who said he fainted soon after he drank a full cup of the durian coffee on Tuesday.

“Both of us tried one sachet of the drink each after we got a free pack.

“I finished mine but soon began to feel lethargic,” he said.

Earlier, Honorary Consul of Nepal in Penang Datuk Huan Cheng Guan, who visited both of them at the hospital, said their condition has improved significantly and they are expected to be discharged soon.

“We hope the contents of the beverage premix will be examined carefully,” he said.

On Wednesday, the employees of the local durian-flavoured white coffee manufacturer vouched for the safety of their products, saying that the company complies with the necessary health and food safety requirements, having received ISO 22000:2005, HACCP (Hazard Analysis for Critical Control Point) and GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) certifications.

The staff members also told reporters no one turned up to complain about the product.

State Health director Dr Wan Mansor Hamzah said five patients received treatment at Penang Hospital between Jan 27 and 30 after consuming the said beverage.

Three were discharged and two are still under observation, she added.