Avoid grilled toad, if you don't already

Avoid grilled toad, if you don't already

Closeup of toad (Source: Wikipedia); Inset: Man swallowing toad whole, most likely in jest.
Closeup of toad (Source: Wikipedia); Inset: Man swallowing toad whole, most likely in jest.

After cooking toad he found in rain, 70-year old man developed breathing problems, vomited, fell unconscious & died shortly afterward.


Avoid grilled toad, if you don't already

Online Reporters

From fried insects to raw buffalo meat salad to pigs brain baked in banana leaves, down home country cooking in Thailand can be fascinating and delicious too, but also, apparently, deadly sometimes.

On Sunday night, in the northern Thailand province of Nan, two older men died after eating grilled toad meat and a third fell sick.

Two children also became ill after eating a chicken that was cooked with it.

Public health officials of Thung Chang district, where the strange deaths occured, went to a house in Pradu village on Monday morning to collect the remainder of the toad meat for examination after hearing of the deaths.


Yod Siangkong, an assistant village headman, said a 70-year-old man had grilled a big toad he caught in the rain last night. 

After the toad was done, he invited another man of the same age and a 45-year-old neighbour to join him in enjoying the snack and drinking liquor together.

About an hour later, the man who found and cooked the toad developed breathing problems, vomited, fell unconscious and died shortly afterward. 

The other elderly man developed the same symptoms.

He was rushed to Thung Chang Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The 45-year-old, who said he ate only a small piece of the toad meat and some of its eggs with the liquor, vomited and suffered from a stomach ache throughout the night.

Two children, aged 4 and 5, also fell sick after eating chicken which was cooked on the same grill as the toad.

It was believed the chicken was contaminated with poison from the toad's glands. They were all admitted to Thung Chang Hospital.

The moral of the story is, perhaps, do not mistake a toad for a frog when you go out hunting for food in the rain or you might not live very long.

The same goes for poisonous mushrooms which it is easy to mistake for the edible variety.

Grilled toad like this one from Kalasin in November 2013 is inedible. The animals have poisonous glands which normally protect them from predators, and the toxin is not destroyed by cooking. (Bangkok Post file photo)


Dr Nipon Pattanakijruang, chief of the Nan public health office, said two poisons - bufotenine and bufotoxin - are usually found in glands under the skin of a toad, and in its eggs, intestines and blood.

These poisons cannot be neutralised by heat.

People who eat toad meat or their eggs and become sick should be made to vomit and rushed to the hospital as soon as possible, he said.

The poisons normally protect the toads from predators, which learn to leave them alone.

Grilled frog, a different animal but often of similar appearance, is a common snack in parts of Thailand.


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  • admitted (verb): (of a hospital) accepted for medical treatment - รับ, ให้เข้า, การรับเข้า, อนุญาตให้เข้า
  • apparently: based only on what you have heard or think, not on what you are certain is true; seemingly - ตามที่ได้รู้มา
  • appearance: the way that somebody/something looks on the outside - ลักษณะภายนอก, การปรากฏตัว
  • as soon as possible: quickly; when they have time to do it -
  • assistant: a person who helps or supports somebody, usually in their job - ผู้ช่วย
  • bake (verb): to cook food in an oven without extra fat or liquid; to be cooked in this way - อบ
  • breathing (noun): bringing air in and out of the lungs - การหายใจ
  • collect (verb): to gather together a group/set/amount of things, often of the same sort - สะสม, เก็บรวบรวม
  • common: ordinary; not unusual or special - ที่เกิดขึ้นทุกวัน, ธรรมดา
  • contaminated: made dirty, polluted or poisonous by the addition of a chemical, waste or infection - ปนเปื้อน
  • delicious: having a very good taste - อร่อย
  • develop: to grow larger and become bigger -
  • edible: fit or suitable to be eaten; not poisonous - ซึ่งกินได้
  • elderly: (of people) old - สูงวัย, อาวุโส, อายุมาก
  • enjoy (verb): to get pleasure from something; to do something you like - เพลิดเพลินกับ
  • examination (noun.): inspection, investigation, looking closely at the facts and details in a case in order to make a decision or judgement - การตรวจสอบ, การพิจารณาอย่างละเอียด
  • fascinating: extremely interesting - น่าหลงใหล, มีเสน่ห์
  • grill (noun): a flat metal frame that you put food on to cook over a fire - โครงย่าง,ตะแกรงเหล็กย่าง
  • grilled: cooked by direct heat, especially under a very hot surface - ย่าง
  • hunt (noun): an act of looking for somebody/something that is difficult to find - การค้นหา, การติดตาม
  • ill (adj): sick; not healthy - ป่วย, ไม่สบาย
  • inedible: cannot eat it because it is in bad condition -
  • insect: any small creature with six legs and a body divided into three parts. Insects usually also have wings. Ants, bees and flies are all insects - แมลง, แมง
  • invite: to ask somebody formally to go somewhere or do something - เชิญ
  • leaves: the small green things growing on branches of trees (single leaf, many leaves) - ใบ
  • liquor: strong alcoholic drink - สุราที่ได้จากการกลั่น
  • mistake (noun): something that you do that is not correct, an error - ความผิดพลาด, ข้อผิดพลาด,ความเข้าใจผิด
  • moral of the story: "a message conveyed or a lesson to be learned from a story or event" (Source: Wikipedia) -
  • mushroom: a fungus (a type of plant) that usually has a short stem and a round top. Some mushrooms can be eaten, but many are poisonous - เห็ด
  • neighbour: someone who lives near you, - เพื่อนบ้าน
  • neutralise: to stop something from having any effect - ทำให้ไม่ได้ผล
  • normally: usually; in normal circumstances - โดยปกติ, ตามปกติ
  • occur: to happen - เกิดขึ้น
  • officials: people who have the power to make decisions or enforce the law - เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
  • poison: a substance that causes death or harm if it is swallowed or absorbed into the body - ยาพิษ
  • poisonous (adj): causing death or illness if swallowed or absorbed into the body - เป็นพิษ
  • predator: an animal that kills and eats other animals - ผู้ล่า
  • pronounced dead: officially confirmed to have died -
  • province: one of many divisions of the government of a country into smaller parts - จังหวัด
  • public health (noun): the health of all the people in a country, city or community and their health issues; also the name of a government department - การสาธารณสุข
  • raw: not cooked or not thoroughly cooked - ดิบ
  • remainder: the part of something that is left after that rest have been considered, left, finished, etc. - ส่วนที่เหลืออยู่
  • rushed: taken somewhere very quickly - ด้วยความเร่งรีบ
  • similar: like somebody/something but not exactly the same - คล้ายกัน
  • stomach ache (noun): pain in or near your stomach - ปวดท้อง
  • strange: unusual or surprising, especially in a way that is difficult to understand - แปลก
  • suffer: to experience something very unpleasant or painful - ประสบ
  • symptom: a sign that someone has an illness - อาการ
  • together: go in groups. - ด้วยกัน
  • toxins: poisonous substances, especially ones which are produced by bacteria and which cause disease - พิษ
  • unconscious : in a sleeplike condition, usually from an illness or injury - หมดสติ
  • variety (noun): many different types of things or people - ความหลากหลาย
  • village headman: village chief; the leader of a village - ผู้ใหญ่บ้าน
  • vomit: to empty the contents of the stomach through the mouth - อาเจียน
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