Tourists injuries from adulterated alcohol prompt more inspections of Mexican bars and restaurants

Tourists injuries from adulterated alcohol prompt more inspections of Mexican bars and restaurants

Due to increasing reports of tourists suffering from adulterated alcohol poisoning, as well as from hotels, bars and nightclubs watering down their products (or selling outdated alcoholic beverages), these establishments will undergo several revisions by the COFEPRIS (Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risk, a regulatory body of the Mexican government).

A recent (January 2017) and internationally-publicized case is that of Abbey Conner, a 20-year-old woman from Wisconsin, who was found brain dead floating in a Playa del Carmen hotel pool next to her brother after they went out the night prior and had a couple of drinks with a group of men. Her family alleges that the alcohol must have been adulterated and that this is common in hotels from the zone. 

A 2015 report from Mexico’s Tax Administration revealed that 43% of all alcohol consumed in the country is illegal, produced under unregulated procedures resulting in potentially hazardous mixtures.

According to a report [2017] by the COFEPRIS, Mexican health authorities have seized more than 1.4 million gallons of adulterated alcohol since 2010. Such numbers are not only from small local establishments, but also from hotels and other entertainment areas.

The mixtures they make with this type of alcohol can worsen people’s health in minutes; both their safety and well-being are in danger. They can lose consciousness, harm themselves and even die; without even knowing what they did. This can be corroborated by interviews and hospital records of nearly a dozen travelers and relatives of people who have died or were injured in the resorts.

 

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Frequently, tourists reported that they had only drunk tequila before passing out. However, there have been other cases that the beverage was rum, beer or other alcoholic drink. According to their statements, they could not remember how they returned to their rooms, arrived to the hospital, nor how they got injured. Thus, as stated in SIPSE, all the establishments that sell alcohol will undergo revisions done by the COFEPRIS to ensure that no adulterated or expired products are being sold.

The operation will be permanent and will include bars, hotels and nightclubs. These places have already been informed through a circular letter, specifying that if they sell alcoholic beverages it is necessary that they comply with all the regulations. When adulterated products are detected, the Public Prosecutor’s Office (Profeco) and the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) are informed; the fines can range from two thousand to six thousand minimum wage days payment.

SOURCES: PanamPost SIPSE