Health
Health

Officials Warn Of Soda Laced With Meth

| by Sheena Vasani

Health officials are warning travelers to be careful after methamphetamine was found in bottles of 7UP lemon-lime soda in Mexico.

The Attorney General of Justice of the State of Baja California announced that one person has died and seven have fallen ill as a result of consuming the contaminated beverages, reported USA Today.

All known victims purchased sodas just south of the California-Mexico border in Mexicali -- roughly 124 miles from San Diego and 240 miles from Phoenix, according to the medical nonprofit Banner Health.

So far, more than 77,000 bottles of the soda have been recalled in the area.

Group Gepp, the manufacturer of 7UP in Mexico, assured customers that the company is taking the necessary steps to protect them.

"Our main concern is the health and safety of our consumers and therefore, we are (fully) cooperating with federal and local authorities in the investigation," the company said in a statement, reported the New York Daily News. "To cooperate with the investigation and out of an abundance of caution, we have temporarily suspended the distribution of 7UP in Mexicali and the surrounding area. In addition, we are implementing a voluntary withdrawal of 7UP two-liter products throughout the state of Baja California Norte."

Meanwhile, the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group -- 7UP 's distributor in the U.S. -- said that customers in the states were not at risk.

"None of the 7UP products sold in the U.S. are affected by the issue being reported in Mexico," said Chris Barnes, spokesman for Dr. Pepper Snapple Group. "Dr. Pepper Snapple owns and licenses the 7UP brand only in the U.S. and its territories. We do not market, sell or distribute the brand internationally."

Although the contaminated beverages are no longer on sale, people traveling to Mexico are still advised to take precautions.

"It is important to check that the seal for any food and drink consumed is still intact and shows no signs of tampering," said Dr. Daniel Brooks of Banner Health, adding that the quick-onset symptoms can be fatal. "If you notice any difference in color, taste or smell, throw it out."

Brooks says those afflicted may suffer nausea or vomiting, irregular heartbeat, difficulty breathing, burning in the abdomen or esophagus, and either an irritation or unusual taste in the mouth.

Heath professionals advise those suffering from potential exposure to immediately contact the Poison Control Center at (800) 222-1222. If severe symptoms develop, individuals should call 911.

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