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Tainted Skittles Blamed for Sickening Two People in Indiana

Image: Tainted Skittles Blamed for Sickening Two People in Indiana

Friday, 07 Mar 2014 11:25 AM

By Michael Mullins

Tainted Skittles appear to have caused two individuals to be hospitalized Wednesday in Indiana after they reportedly suffered from burning throats, cramping, and diarrhea after consuming the fruity candy.

According to the Indiana State Department of Health, the individuals, whose names and ages were not released, had eaten the Skittles from a package that contained some kind of chemical substance, NBC News reported.

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The pair has since been released from the hospital.

Authorities would not say what the chemical substances were or if the Skittles package was tampered with prior to the sale, saying only that the Skittles in questions were sold at a Marathon Food Mart in Richmond, Ind.

"We'll know more when we get the state lab results" within a few days, Health Department spokesman Amy Reel told reporters.

As of Wednesday, the Indiana State Police, Indiana Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had reportedly joined the investigation.

As a precaution, authorities have ordered the removal of any Skittles packages with the lot numbers 08JUL14 023 or 01DEC14 023, NWITimes.com reported.

Denise Young, a spokeswoman for Chicago-based Skittles producer William Wrigley Jr. Co., told The Associated Press that the company learned of the issue Wednesday night and are conducting their own investigation into the matter.

"Our first priority is safety and we take this very seriously," Young said.

Karen Ward, the emergency room manager at St. Vincent Randolph Hospital where the two individuals were treated earlier in the week, said the medical facility was on the lookout for any patients exhibiting similar symptoms to those who were admitted.

"We're on high alert for such a case," Ward told the Winchester News Gazette. "But so far (as of mid-afternoon Thursday) we've had no cases of someone coming to the emergency room who is ill after eating these candies."

This isn't the first time tainted Skittles have resulted in a person becoming ill.

In July 2009, a 4-year-old girl from Tampa, Fla., was hospitalized after eating Skittles from a bag that was laced with Oxycontin, NBC Miami reported.

Upon examining the tainted Skittles bag, police found that several Oxycontin pills had been mixed in with the fruity candy pieces.

One week earlier than that, a 14-year-old boy in Northwest Florida went in to a local CVS to buy Skittles and when he put his hand in the candy box he found a bag of cocaine, the Detroit Free Press reported.

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