At least 10 people die after eating contaminated food in Peru

Some 50 people fell ill after attending a post-funeral meal

At least 10 people die after eating contaminated food in Peru

Image: Google Earth

At least 10 people have died after eating contaminated food at a funeral in Peru.

They were among 50 people who fell ill after attending a post-funeral meal in the village of San Jose de Ushua in the Peruvian Andes on Monday.

Several people are also in a critical condition in hospital.

The country's Health Minister Silvia Pessah said the food appears to have contained organophosphates - a group of chemicals used in pesticides.

Regional health director Jhon Tinco told a local radio station that the victims said they had eaten a meat dish and a fermented corn drink called chicha.

Samples of the food and drink served at the funeral have been taken away for testing.

The victims had to be evacuated from a rural hospital in Ayacucho, a southern region home to indigenous Quechua-speaking farmers.

Radio Programs of Peru (RPP) said the funeral had been for local man Víctor Santos Cucho Atucsa and his grieving family had shared the meal with mourners afterwards.

The mayor of San Jose de Ushua, Ivan Villagomez Llamoca was at the funeral and told the news outlet: "The first dish was mote broth, the second dish was stewed meat with chilli."

Mr Llamoca said he had suffered from a headache after the meal and had gone to hospital.

Those who died were reported to be aged between 12 and 68.

In 2013, 23 children in India's Bihar state died after eating food contaminated with the pesticide monocrotophos, which also belongs to the organophosphate family.

Monocrotophos is extremely toxic for humans and birds and has been banned in most parts of the world, but it is still available in India.

In 1999, 26 children died from food poisoning in Cusco, Peru.

In this case, the foods had been stored next to supplies of parathion, a chemical insecticide now also banned in most countries.