Bought any orange juice lately? Did it have an off taste or smell? A woman has been accused of sneaking bottles of tainted orange juice onto a Starbucks shelf. Fortunately, no one drank the juice -- and the suspect was arrested thanks to a fast-thinking Starbucks employee.
Coming right after the ricin envelope incidents and the Boston bombings, witnessing this act must have been terrifying. It would be easy to imagine the worst. It took a visit from the local fire department to determine that the orange juice had been tainted "only" with rubbing alcohol and nail polish remover and not anything more combustible. But why would anyone do such a thing?
A customer at a San Jose Starbucks says they saw a woman pull two bottles of juice out of her bag and place them on a shelf with other refrigerated items for sale. The customer rushed to tell some employees what she'd seen, but that gave the woman the chance to flee the scene. Fortunately, one of the Starbucks employees managed to write down the woman's licence plate number (some sources say it was caught by the coffee shop's security camera). That's how police were able to track down 50-year-old Ramineh Behbehanian. They believe she was acting alone -- but they don't know why she tried to sneak bottles of tainted juice onto the coffee shop's shelves.
Just in case you're wondering, drinking nail polish can lead to shortness of breath and possibly a coma. You can die from drinking eight ounces of isopropyl alcohol.
I have to wonder if the bottles were sealed. You would notice that, right? Every bottled drink comes with some kind of seal you have to break -- and if there is no seal, that's your clue that your drink may not be so safe. But do small children know this? I can imagine a parent buying their 3-year-old some juice and just absent-mindedly handing it over.
Then there's the smell -- wouldn't you notice a strong whiff of alcohol? It does have an odor, and it's not quite as nice as the smell of mimosas! But again, some people can be a little absent-minded and not pick up on a funny smell until they've taken a big gulp.
Anyway, Starbucks is checking juices at other stores in the area just in case.
Have you ever noticed a drink with a broken seal or a toxic odor at a store?
Image via bfishadow/Flickr