U.S. Warns Travelers Of Possibly Tainted Alcoholic Drinks In Mexico

The recent death of a 20-year-old put officials on high alert.

The U.S. is warning travelers to Mexico about tainted alcohol after a number of people experienced blackouts or got sick after drinking at local resorts.

On Wednesday, the State Department updated its information page for Mexico, urging visitors to drink with caution.

“There have been allegations that consumption of tainted or substandard alcohol has resulted in illness or blacking out,” the warning reads. “If you choose to drink alcohol, it is important to do so in moderation and to stop and seek medical attention if you begin to feel ill.”

In January, Wisconsin college student Abby Conner drowned after drinking in a resort pool near Playa del Carmen. Her local paper, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, published an investigation into her death, and more people came forward to share similar experiences of sickness, blackouts and injuries after drinking what they believe to be tainted or drugged beverages at resorts in Playa del Carmen and Cancun. According to the Journal Sentinel, the Mexican Tax Administration Service reported in 2015 that more than 40 percent of the alcohol consumed in the country is illegal, having been produced in unregulated circumstances.

The State Department consulted its staff in Mexico and deemed it necessary to publish the warning, a spokeswoman told HuffPost.

Many of the allegations about blackout-inducing alcohol come from guests at Iberostar resorts, but there are reports of incidents at other properties, too.

Iberostar is careful with alcohol sourcing, a spokeswoman told HuffPost in a statement.

“A high standard of quality for food and beverages is crucial for the daily operation of our resorts,” the statement reads. “We work with food and beverage providers whose products comply with the highest quality standards to guarantee the satisfaction and safety of all of our guests... we only purchase sealed bottles that satisfy all standards required by the designated regulatory authorities.”

No matter where you travel, it’s smart to pay extra attention to how much you’re drinking and to local alcohol laws so as not to put yourself at risk.

Summer Travel Tips