The incident happened on Friday while the family of Richie Zaragoza were celebrating the boy’s 10th birthday at the Star Buffet & Grill.
The apple juice that had been ordered for the boy and his 4-year-old half-sister, Ginaya Mendoza, were waiting on the table when the family got back from getting food at the buffet.
Ginaya took a sip from her cup and began throwing up and complaining her stomach hurt. The girl’s mother first thought her daughter had simply gotten sick, but then her son began screaming “it burns” and throwing up blood.
Both children were taken to Lancaster General Hospital with severe burns of the mouth and throat. They were then flown to Hershey Medical Center where they remained in intensive care Saturday afternoon.
Because Richie suffers from cystic fibrosis and diabetes, he has a gastronomy tube in his stomach and a port in his arm for IV medications and will be sedated for several days.
The liquid in the cups the children drank from is currently being tested. The manager of the restaurant says nothing like this has happened in the year he’s been there, and that the apple juice is purchased from a local grocery store.
Family members say the only thing odd about their service was that the children usually got individual juice containers in the past, but this time the juice came in foam cups.
It wouldn’t be the first time we have reported on a restaurant customer getting a mouthful of liquid hell, but this one is odd because only some of the drinks at the table were contaminated.Tags: buffet, Crime, Pennsylvania, poison, restaurant, Richie Zaragoza, Tampering