Contaminated apple juice hospitalises siblings

The siblings were celebrating Richie's 10th birthday at a restaurant on Saturday (Ally Colon/ Facebook)
The siblings were celebrating Richie's 10th birthday at a restaurant on Saturday (Ally Colon/ Facebook)

Richie Zaragoza was celebrating his 10th birthday at a Pennsylvania restaurant with a seemingly innocent apple juice - but the celebration became a nightmare when the juice burnt his throat and mouth. 

Richie and his sister, four-year-old Ginaya Mendoza, both drunk what's believed to be a caustic substance at the Star Buffet and Grill on Saturday and she suffered the same injuries.

They won't be able to eat normally for at least another week, and mother Ginny Davis wrote on Facebook it would take three weeks to heal. 

Ginaya has since had her breathing tubes removed and has been taken out of intensive care, but Richie remains in hospital, the children's aunt Ally Colon says. 

Richard Zaragoza Sr, Richie's father, says his son who has diabetes and cystic fibrosis is still sedated. 

Robin Weaver, a local policeman, says a third person tried to drink the juice and got uncomfortable stomach pains, and an adult who sipped it but never swallowed needed medical attention. 

The restaurant owner Steve Weng told Capital Gazette the drink was purchased locally, and poured into disposable cups.

Authorities have retrieved the apple juice and say it's not clear if there was evidence of foul play, but Mr Zaragoza says methanol has been identified as a contaminant. 

Newshub.