AP NEWS

2 sickened by cleaning solution in drinks at Nebraska bar

January 30, 2020 GMT

LA VISTA, Neb. (AP) — Two customers at a movie theater bar in Nebraska were treated at a hospital after they were served cleaning solution in their drinks apparently by accident.

The women, ages 45 and 51, took sips and soon began to feel burning sensations in their throats and stomachs Tuesday at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in the Omaha suburb of La Vista, said La Vista Police Chief Bob Lausten.

They had trouble breathing, but were treated and released from the hospital. A server experienced similar symptoms after tasting the drinks and was treated at a hospital as well.

Lausten told the Omaha World-Herald that a bottle that had contained a liqueur was being used to store cleaning solution for lines that connect beer kegs to taps. The bottle had been placed near the bar.

“I think it’s an unfortunate mix-up, but it could have had really bad consequences,” he said.

Tyler Calabrese, a partner in the franchise location, described what happened as “a truly awful situation.” He said the company’s health and safety procedures were not followed and the employee responsible has been fired.

“We have initiated a full staff retraining to ensure that it does not happen again,” Calabrese said.

Sarpy County Attorney Lee Polikov said a report has been sent to the State Liquor Control Commission and the Nebraska State Patrol for investigation.

“We have to be sure there was no intentional act,” Polikov said. “People would expect in restaurants and bars that consumables are not dangerous. It shouldn’t be an accident waiting to happen.”