Arizona health officials are warning people going to Mexico to be aware of possible contaminated 7Up beverages in the Mexicali area, as they are apparently laced with methamphetamines.

The meth-laced 7Ups caused seven people to become ill and killed one person, according to a statement by the Attorney General of Justice of the State of Baja California, Mexico. Mexicali is located just 240 miles from Phoenix and about 124 miles from San Diego.

7Up, Methamphetamine, Mexico
7 Up products laced with meth are found in Mexicali. Image credit: VConnect

The location attracts thousands of tourists, especially Americans, who just cross the border to enjoy Mexicali’s sunny locations.

7Up beverages laced with meth cause death of one person and illness of other 7

Following reports of the contaminated soft beverages, medical toxicologists and physicians issued a series of warnings for those who plan to visit the area, according to a Banner Health press release.

“It is important to check that the seal for any food and drink consumed is still intact and show no signs of tampering,” Dr. Daniel Brooks, Banner Poison and Drug Information Center medical director, said in a statement. “If you notice any difference in color, taste or smell, throw it out.”

Meanwhile, the Department of Health of Baja California said that five of the people contaminated from the soft drinks have already been discharged from the hospital. A 30-year-old man who was hospitalized on Monday is still being treated but is reportedly stable, according to the statement.

A 37-year-old man died after drinking the meth-laced soda, unfortunately. Leopoldo Jiménez Sánchez, protection director against sanitary hazards for Baja California, said that all 7Up products were removed from shelves in the area.

Moreover, Mexican health authorities checked the safety of over 77,000 7Up bottles in the state’s PepsiCo plant. Baja California officials recommended the public to see a physician immediately if they drank a 7Up and they feel ill.

No meth-laced 7Up bottles have been found in the United States, though. Chris Barnes, a spokesman for Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, reassured that the contaminated drinks have not made their way into the country. Dr. Pepper Snapple Group distributes 7Up products in the U.S.

“None of the 7Up products sold in the United States are affected by the issue being reported in Mexico,” said Barnes, according to The Coloradoan. “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.”

Contaminated soft drinks can cause difficulty breathing and nausea

Banner Health also listed some of the symptoms that one might experience after ingesting a contaminated soda, noting that side effects from contamination can present immediately and may result in life-threatening illness.

Symptoms of the contamination may include irritation or abnormal taste in the mouth or throat, burning to the abdomen or esophagus, difficulty breathing, nausea or vomiting, and a fast or irregular heartbeat.

Anyone who experiences such symptoms should contact their doctors immediately, as they might have ingested contaminated food or drinks.

The Baja California attorney general’s office said on its Facebook page that an investigation is already underway to assess how the meth made its way into the soft beverages.

U.S. State Department recently issued warning about tainted alcohol in Mexican resorts

The news came just weeks after reports of tainted alcohol in all-inclusive Mexican resorts. In August, several reports indicated that travelers to some resorts in Mexico were blacking out after drinking small and moderate amounts of alcohol, according to an investigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Mexico, Alcohol, Playa del Carmen
An all-inclusive resort in Playa del Carmen, where tainted alcohol has also been reported. Image credit: Playa del Carmen

Most of those who blacked out also reported being robbed, assaulted, injured, and said they had no memories of what happened since they fell unconscious. Some people even died after they were drugged, including a Wisconsin-based woman.

Americans who sought medical care after being drugged said they were treated poorly in hospitals and were demanded large sums of cash, while those who wished to file police reports said resort officials discouraged them from doing so, and even if they proceeded, the police wouldn’t file the reports. The American travelers who reported similar stories had gone to resorts in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, Cozumel, and other towns along Riviera Maya.

Those reports caused the U.S. State Department to warn travelers going to Mexico about possible tainted or counterfeit alcohol that could make people sick or unconscious. U.S. officials aren’t able to help Americans traveling to a Mexican resort, as they can’t force resorts or hospitals to help U.S. citizens. So, if you’re traveling to Mexico, beware of alcohol and 7Ups.

Source: The Coloradoan