Travelers warned about meth-laced soda in Mexico

PHOENIX — Health professionals in Arizona are warning those traveling to Mexico to be aware of possible contaminated 7Up beverages in the Mexicali area.

The contaminated soft drinks caused seven people to become ill and has killed one person, according to the Attorney General of Justice of the State of Baja California.

Mexicali is located about 240 miles from Phoenix and 124 miles from San Diego, just south of the California border and Interstate 8.

According to a Banner Health news release, medical toxicologists and physicians are on alert after reports surfaced that methamphetamine was found in 7Up drinks originating in Mexicali.

Baja California's Health Department officials said health authorities have removed the products from shelves.

Chris Barnes, spokesman for Dr Pepper Snapple Group, reassured that no 7Up products in the United States have been contaminated. The company distributes 7Up in the United States.

"None of the 7Up products sold in the U.S. are affected by the issue being reported in Mexico," said Barnes. "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."

The Baja attorney general's office announced on its Facebook page that an investigation is underway in order to figure out how the drug made its way into the soda.

Dr. Daniel Brooks at Banner Health cautioned anyone traveling to Mexico.

“It is important to check that the seal for any food and drink consumed is still intact and shows no signs of tampering,” Brooks said.

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.

In July, the U.S. State Department alerted travelers to Mexico about possible tainted or counterfeit alcohol that could cause sickness and blacking out.

That warning came in the wake of a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigation surrounding a Wisconsin woman’s death that raised questions about drinks being served in all-inclusive resorts in Mexico.

Contributing: Raquel Rutledge, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

© Gannett Co., Inc. 2017. All Rights Reserved


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