11 July 2024

Health officials in Thailand’s north-eastern province of Ubon Ratchathani have ordered a bottled drinking water plant to suspend operations until it obtains a license from the Thai Food and Drug Administration (TFDA), after a Siamese fighting fish was found in a ten-litre container.

The action by provincial health officials came after a picture of a Siamese fighting fish swimming around in one of its bottles went viral on social media over the weekend.

It was reported that a villager in Tha Lat sub-district was about to open a 10-litre drinking water canister when he noticed something moving at the bottom of the container, which was later found to be a fighting fish.

The man called the manager of the drinking water plant in the village to report the unusual discovery and asked for a replacement bottle of water.

The manager reportedly said that the water container might be a recycled one which had not been cleaned properly before reuse.

Health officials were, however, not satisfied with the explanation and began an investigation. They ordered the plant to shut down temporarily, in order to improve the quality of its water and to seek permission from the provincial TFDA office before reopening.

The plant was built with state funding, under the government’s Pracharat program, aimed at boosting local economies. It draws water from the village’s tap water supply to produce 12,000 litres of drinking water per day.