The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are warning people to get rid of a drink that has been found to be contaminated with a rare but potentially deadly bacteria. The drink, which is a commercially available pre-mixed margarita, has been linked to one death and at least eight other illnesses in multiple states, and officials are urging people to be vigilant.
What Is the contaminated drink?
The contaminated drink is a pre-mixed margarita made with Cuervo Gold Tequila and margarita mix, which is sold by the Jose Cuervo company. The drink was sold in half-gallon containers and some 1.75 liter bottles. The contaminated margarita has been linked to illnesses in multiple states – Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.
What Is the Risk of Drinking It?
The contaminated drink has been linked to at least one death and eight other illnesses from consuming it. The exact risk of drinking it is still being investigated. The CDC has urged people to get rid of the product if they have it in their homes. They strongly advise people not to drink it.
Who Is at Risk of Getting Sick?
Anyone who has consumed the contaminated drink is at risk of getting sick. However, officials have said that those who consumed the drink on or after May 1, 2021 should be most concerned, as that is when the contaminated drink was first produced and distributed. Those who consumed the drink before this date are at lower risk of getting sick.
What Are the Symptoms of the Illness?
The illness linked to the contaminated drink is caused by a rare bacteria called Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli, or STEC. Symptoms of this infection can be severe, and include:
• Diarrhea, which can become bloody
• Abdominal pain
What Should You Do If You Think You Have the Contaminated Drink?
If you think you have the contaminated drink in your home, the CDC recommends throwing it away immediately in a closed container to prevent any other people or animals from consuming it. Do not consume this drink, as it can have severe health consequences. Additionally, seek medical attention if you start to experience any symptoms, as this infection can become life threatening if not treated properly.
What Is Being Done to Investigate the Outbreak?
The CDC is currently working with state health departments and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate the contaminated drink and its potential dangers. The CDC has also issued a public health advisory to emphasize the seriousness of this potential outbreak and to reinforce safety advice.
Should You Be Concerned About Other Drinks?
No, you should not be concerned about other drinks. This particular margarita was contaminated with a rare bacteria, and is the only drink that is known to be contaminated. There is no evidence to suggest that any other drinks, including other pre-mixed margaritas, pose any risk.
How Can You Protect Yourself?
The best way to protect yourself from this contaminated drink is to avoid drinking it. Additionally, you can take steps to protect yourself and your family from foodborne illnesses. Here are a few tips:
• Follow food safety protocols, such as washing your hands and all fruit and vegetables before eating them.
• Clean food preparation areas, including cutting boards and countertops after use.
• Avoid cross-contamination of different foods by using separate cutting boards and utensils for raw and cooked foods.
• Be aware of ready-to-eat foods, such as salads and other pre-packaged items, that may be contaminated and that require proper washing or cooking and should be discarded after a few days.
• Always check the “sell by” date when buying and consuming food, and be aware of food recalls.
The CDC and other health authorities are warning people to get rid of the contaminated drink if they have it in their homes. The pre-mixed margarita has been linked to one death and at least eight other illnesses in multiple states, so it is important to take this warning seriously. Seek medical attention if you experience any symptoms, practice food safety habits, and never consume the contaminated drink.