Death is not a stranger in the West African country of Ghana, but killer beans are being blamed for taking an entire family in a freak food poisoning incident.
According to government officials, a woman buying food for a household in the town of Serube purchased the allegedly deadly beans at the Buipe public market on Monday morning.
The beans were then served to the family, which consisted of a man and his two wives, two daughters and two sons. The victims were all dead on arrival at Tamale Teaching Hospital.
Within about 45 minutes after eating, the victims. mouths started foaming. A request to bury the family the next day, as called for under Muslim tradition, was denied so that autopsies can be completed to determine what kind of poison killed them.
Two neighbors who dined with the household, including a 3-year old girl, survived and are hospitalized at Tamale Teaching Hospital.
Food poisoning occurs when someone swallows food or water that is contaminated with some type of harmful bacteria, parasites, viruses or toxins.
Buipe is the district capital of the Central Gonja District in the Northern Region of Ghana, lying just north of Lake Volta. Its limestone deposits makes it a proposed center for cement making. The area did experience some civil unrest earlier in 2011.