Beware of Tainted Alcohol in Mexico

Beware tainted alcohol in MexicoAccording to USA TODAY, the US State Department last week warned travelers to Mexico of the potential dangers of tainted alcohol that could cause sickness and blacking out. In an email, it urged travelers planning to drink in Mexico to “do so in moderation and to stop and seek medical attention if [they] begin to feel ill.”

From the story: “The updated warning comes in the wake of a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigation surrounding a Wisconsin woman’s death that raised questions about drinks being served in all-inclusive resorts in Mexico. Following the initial report, the Journal Sentinel has received accounts from more than three dozen people reporting similar experiences after drinking limited amounts of alcohol at such resorts.”

This is scary, especially since these incidents have come from reputable resorts. My colleague Chris McGinnis just wrote an informative post on the subject. Here’s some of his advice regarding alcohol in Mexico:

  • Give your drinks the “sniff test.”
  • Don’t drink alone.
  • Avoid shots.
  • Drink from bottles or cans you open yourself.
  • Don’t leave your food or drink unattended.
  • Have a good travel insurance policy in effect and its emergency number in your wallet.

All of this is good advice. I use Allianz Travel Insurance when I travel (full disclosure: they are a sponsor) since they are the giant in the travel insurance business. Allianz is competitively priced but even if they cost a little more, I would go with them because they have offices in 34 countries that span six continents, so chances are they will have people on the ground no matter where you’re traveling – and that includes Mexico.

Related:

 

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Johnny Jet
I used to be afraid to fly and at times even leave the house! I conquered my fear (long story) and now I travel to 20+ countries a year sharing my firsthand knowledge, tips and deals with friends, family and readers. Please sign up to our free newsletters and tell your friends!

3 Comments on "Beware of Tainted Alcohol in Mexico"

  1. Unfortunately, this is something that happens all to often down there. I have a friend who went to University down there and now lives in a nearby city. When I was visiting 15 years ago, I was out with some of her friends (who were native-born locals) and we got to talking about the social/club/party scene in Cancun and the surrounding cities. All of them said the same thing: when they go out in those cities, regardless of venue, they only drink beer – from the bottle or can. There are cases of merchants using alcohol that is not proper for human consumption to make cocktails, especially margaritas. It has been happening for quite a while, and the authorities are well aware of issue. Given this advice came from true locals, whom I still observe demonstrating this practice every time we go out down there; it is something I have taken to heart and am mindful of every time I visit that country, regardless of location.

  2. What is the “sniff test” ? What kind of smell are we trying to determine with this sniff? Methanol does not have an odor.

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