Children suffer severe throat burns after drinking apple juice at restaurant


Two children suffered burns after drinking apple juice at a Pennsylvania restaurant, their family members say.

Both remained hospitalized Monday in fair condition, three days after their visit to the Star Buffet and Grill outside Lancaster, about 70 miles west of Philadelphia.

The kids were rushed to Hershey Medical Center and spent Saturday night in intensive care with severe burns of the mouth and throat, according to Lancaster Online.

The restaurant manager, Steve Weng, said the apple juice had been bought from a local supermarket. Zaragoza says he's still waiting for an investigation from the health department. Authorities were obtaining translators to interview restaurant employees who spoke only Spanish or Chinese. However, according to Richie's father, Richard Zaragoza, a test from the Hershey Medical Center revealed that methanol was at least one of the substances present in the juice. An adult male in the group also experienced burns in his mouth after tasting the liquid.

The owner has been cooperative, Weaver said, adding that he didn't have an explanation for what happened.

"There's a lot of speculation going on".

Zaragoza said no one from the restaurant has contacted him. No other customers reported any reactions or discomfort.

Weaver said the county prosecutor's office and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration also are investigating.

In the latest inspection February 21, violations included the refrigerator was not maintaining the minimum temperature, egg rolls and breaded chicken in the refrigerator was not at the required temperature and more.

Richie Zaragoza and 4-year-old Ginaya Mendoza were taken to the hospital on March 3 after receiving the juice at Star Buffet & Grill in Lancaster. The siblings' parents told the doctors that their children started experiencing violent symptoms as soon as they took a couple of sips from their cups.



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