juice

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Children Hospitalized From Burns After Drinking Apple Juice at Restaurant

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According to police, it’s too early to tell if there was criminal intent behind the incident
juice

Africa Studio / Shutterstock

The juice was reportedly served in plastic foam cups from a store-bought half-gallon container.

Last week, what was intended to be a day of celebration ended with two children in the hospital for severe burns after they consumed apple juice contaminated with a caustic substance.

Richie Zaragoza, 10, and his family went to the Star Buffet & Grill in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, on Friday to celebrate his birthday when the incident occurred, Lancaster Online reported.

His 4-year-old half-sister, Ginaya Mercado, also consumed the apple juice. According to the East Lampeter township police, who responded to the incident, a third male child, Miguel Mercado, 6, was also experiencing stomach discomfort. An adult male, Luis Mercado, also experienced burns in his mouth after tasting the substance.

Hospital officials said that no test results regarding the substance have been released yet.

According to Steve Weng, manager at Star Buffet & Grill, the apple juice was bought at a local grocery store, and he doesn’t know how it was contaminated.

An inspector from the state Agriculture Department was sent to the restaurant on Monday but found “no imminent risk” to public health and safety, agency spokeswoman Shannon Powers told Associated Press.

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Lt. Robin Weaver with the East Lampeter police told AP that the county prosecutor’s office and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are also investigating the incident.