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Two People Who Ate Casserole From Contaminated Slow Cooker Were Poisoned By Meth

| by Alexander Rubinstein

Two people accidently ate methamphetamine after they made casseroles in a slow cooker that was contaminated in 2013.

The pair went to Middlemore Hospital with nausea, heart palpitations, dizziness, swollen tongues and facial flushing after they ate the bean casserole, reports New Zealand Herald.

They had gone to the hospital other times after they ate the same dish as well as a beef casserole from the contaminated slow cooker.

Auckland Regional Public Health Service took left-overs to take samples from and determine the cause of the symptoms.

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When the samples did not show any signs of poisoning they were tested for drugs and medicines. The tests showed that methamphetamine, or crystal meth, was present in both and on the inside of the slow cooker. The lid was also contaminated on both sides.

Police were reportedly notified of the contamination.

The case came to light when it was included in this quarter’s Public Health Surveillance Report, which is produced for the country's Ministry of Health.

The report did not say whether the police had reached a conclusion.

The Ministry for Primary Industries was also alerted to the outbreak of methamphetamine poisoning in the food.

The cause of the contamination in the slow cooker remains a mystery, with no plausible explanation found.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, meth is often manufactured, or “cooked” in crude laboratories. Many of the labs are unsophisticated operations and use only basic equipment.

While methamphetamine is traditionally made in dangerous laboratories and often causes a explosions, a method of creating the drug that gained prominence in 2009, called the “shake-and-bake” method, allows drug-makers to create the addictive substance inside a plastic bottle.

After the chemical reaction and the substance is made, the crystalline powder is removed and users smoke it. They often discard the bottle, which is contaminated with methamphetamine in the form of brown and white sludge. Multiple reports indicate the contaminated bottles are strewn near highways and rural roads in the states with the highest rates of methamphetamine use, reports NY Daily News.

Sources: New Zealand Herald, U.S. Department of Justice, NY Daily News / Photo credit: Janine/Flickr