This incident is a scary reminder of the importance of storing cleaning chemicals in a safe location in the correct container with the correct labelling. As highlighted in this Spanish tragedy, it is easy to mistake a cleaning chemical for a beverage if it is decantered into a drink/wine bottle then accidentally stored in the fridge. It only took one sip for this mistake to become fatal.
In 2012, two Auckland women were seriously injured after being served the poisonous chemical benzalkonium chloride instead of Sprite at the Avondale RSA.
A man is dead after drinking a glass of dishwasher detergent that he thought was wine.
Andres Lorente, 50, was served an industrial cleaner after ordering a white wine at a cafe in eastern Spain. Lorente was rushed to a health centre and then a hospital in nearby Vinaros but died from internal burns to his windpipe, throat, and stomach before he could be airlifted to a specialised treatment centre.
The cafe owner was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter. He has since been released on bail. It was thought the detergent was being stored in an old wine bottle, which was accidentally placed in the fridge.
“In its appearance, texture and colour, it was identical to the glass of white wine the victim had ordered,” a source close to the investigation said.
“Our understanding is he only took a small sip of the liquid.” Jose Antonio Martin of the Castellon General Hospital said that a small amount would still be fatal.
“It starts burning immediately.”
“If it is potent it can burn and puncture the oesophagus and stomach.”