United States citizens have already been warned about tainted alcohol in Mexico. This week, a soft drink is the subject of a new warning.
Health professionals in Arizona issued the warning after one person died and as many as nine others became ill in Mexicali, Baja California, after drinking 7Up that was later found to contain methamphetamine.
José María Soto was admitted to a hospital in Mexicali last Sunday with nausea and stomach pain. He died shortly after.
His family said the symptoms had appeared after Soto drank 7Up from a two-liter bottle. A health official said Soto’s urine tested positive for methamphetamine.
El Universal reported that all the victims had purchased the beverage at a store in the Mexicali Valley.
Authorities have since seized 77,000 containers of 7Up in various sizes and asked stores to suspend sales of the product.
The newspaper Reforma reported that it was not the first time methamphetamine had appeared in soft drinks in the region, and that authorities have suspected that the beverages are being used to smuggle the drug across the border into the United States.
A spokesman for the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, which distributes 7Up in the United States, told the Arizona Republic that none of its products had been contaminated.
A doctor with Banner Health, a health care service provider, warned travelers to be cautious. “It is important to check that the seal for any food and drink consumed is still intact and shows no signs of tampering,” said Daniel Brooks.
Some side effects of drinking contaminated sodas are burning of the esophagus and stomach, vomiting and a fast or irregular heartbeat, according to Banner Health.
The U.S. State Department issued an alert in July to warn travelers in Mexico about the possibility of tainted alcohol after many reports of people becoming ill at some all-inclusive resorts. One death has been reported.