16 Nov 2017

Wild boar suspected in family's food poisoning

7:53 pm on 16 November 2017

Three members of a Waikato family are in hospital after a suspected food poisoning from wild boar eaten nearly a week ago.

Wild boar may have poisoned Putaruru family

Wild boar may have poisoned the Putaruru family. Photo: RNZ / YouTube

Subi Babu is in a serious condition in the High Dependancy Unit at Waikato Hospital.

Her husband, Shibu Kochummen, and his mother Alekutty Daniel, who was visiting from India, are stable in a ward.

The region's Medical Officer of Health, Dr Richard Vipond, said it was investigating potential sources for the illness, including wild pork meat.

Family friend Sojan Joseph said he visited the three last night.

He said they remained unresponsive, as they were when they were admitted on Friday.

"He's not able to talk, or even respond to any of his surroundings. So we really don't know what's going on."

Mr Joseph said the couple's two children were being cared for by members of their church.

He said the family had wild boar for dinner the night before but their two children - who are fine - did not eat any.

Another family friend, Joji Varghese, told Checkpoint the family had wild pork for dinner, which was shot by Mr Kochummen and his friends.

He said within half an hour of eating it, the three were throwing up.

"About 15 minutes later, Shibu rang the emergency services number. He fainted halfway through the conversation."

He said emergency services found the three adults unconscious and the couple's two children asleep in bed.

The head of the Game Animal Council said thousands of people ate wild pork every day and he had never heard of anyone getting seriously ill from eating game meat.

Don Hammond said he thought there was more to the illness than eating the meat.

"Thousands of people every day in New Zealand eat wild pork that's been caught in the bush. It's a major source of protein in many small rural areas, and I've never heard of anyone getting sick from meat that's been looked after properly."

Mr Hammond said it was not possible to eat enough meat to get secondary poisoning from toxins.