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Two Kids Brought To Hospital For Mouth And Throat Burns After Drinking Apple Juice

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Two children in Pennsylvania were rushed to the hospital after each ingesting an unidentified caustic substance in their apple juice at an all-you-can-eat buffet.

Richie Zaragoza, 10, and his half-sister Ginaya Mendoza, 4, were brought to the Hershey Medical Center on Friday for severe burns on their mouths and throats, Fox News reports. They are now listed as critical but stable.

The kids and their family were celebrating Richie’s birthday at the Star Buffet & Grill. After drinking the juice, Ginaya began throwing up. Richie began vomiting blood, and shouting that his throat felt like it was burning, according to his mother, Virginia Davis. reports that the children were rushed to the medical center, where they spent Saturday in the intensive care unit. Richard Zaragoza Sr., Richie’s father, said that his son has diabetes and cystic fibrosis, so the boy had to be sedated with an intubation device. Doctors are still examining blood present in his urine.

Zaragoza said,

I had to try to talk to him last night through his fingers. I told him I loved him…and he squeezed my hand twice so he was responsive.

Ginaya is no longer sedated, the family reported. A spokesperson for the Hershey Medical Center said on Monday morning that both children are now in “fair condition.”

Preliminary tests showed that methanol was identified as one of the substances in the apple juice, but inquiries are still ongoing as to the rest of the ingredients. The manager of the restaurant, Steve Weng, said that their supply came from a local supermarket.

Another child, age 6, felt stomach pains and an adult male had burns in his mouth after each drinking the juice, police officers said. Both were treated at Lancaster General Hospital and released.

As of Monday, the Lancaster County district attorney’s office, the US Food and Drug Administration and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture have joined the East Lampeter police in the investigation.

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