YUMA, Ariz. - Banner Health said that Medical Toxicologists and Emergency Department physicians are on high alert after reports of tampering to soft drinks emerged from Mexico several days ago.
Meanwhile, according to Mexicali newspaper "La Cronica", the government of Baja California confirmed that liquid meth was found inside the bottles that were tested for the substance, confirming that the bottles did contain the deadly drug.
So far one person, a 35-year-old man, has died and seven others fell ill after they drank the product.
The bottling company "Bebidas Purificadas, S. de R. L. de C. V." will be collaborating with the authorities to clarify what happened following the death of the man who ingested the beverage.
The company has temporarily suspended the distribution of 7-Up two-liter bottles in Mexicali and its surrounding areas.
The Mexican government plans on doing tests on other 7-Up bottles. No word on how the meth got inside the soda bottles.
Banner Health said experts remind people to be vigilant when traveling. “It is important to check that the seal for any food and drink consumed is still intact and show no signs of tampering,” said Dr. Daniel Brooks, Banner Poison and Drug Information Center medical director. “If you notice any difference in color, taste or smell, throw it out.”
Side-effects from this soft drink contamination can present suddenly and may result in life-threatening illness. Symptoms may include:
- Irritation of, or abnormal taste in, the mouth our throat
- Burning to the esophagus or abdomen
- Nausea or vomiting
- Difficulty breathing
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
People who consume drinks or food suspected to have been contaminated in any manner should immediately contact the Poison Control Center at (800) 222-1222. The poison centers’ nurses and pharmacists are available 24/7 for any concerning ingestion or exposure, including unexpected dietary effects. If significant symptoms develop, contact Emergency Medical Services via 911 immediately.