May 28, 2009
What started as a fun day at the zoo nearly landed four people in immediate care after a sno-cone mixup. One was a bottle of sno-cone syrup. The other was a bottle of commercial degreaser.
A Sedgwick County Zoo employee could not tell the difference between the two and it nearly made four people sick.
One of the victims, who does not want to be identified, is speaking out.
"This could have turned out tragic," she said.
The Maize woman was with her grandchildren at the zoo Thursday when they bought the blue sno-cones.
"And they took bites and we noticed they didn't taste the same so I tasted it. I thought maybe the utensils were dirty and then someone ran up to us and told us it was degreaser on top," she said.
According to the zoo, the two bottles of the same exact shape, size and color, were dropped off at the same time. Because they look similar, they accidentally got stocked side by side. When one of the employees went to get more syrup, they did not take a close enough look at the labels and grabbed the degreaser.
"We'd just like to say that we are sincerely sorry that this unfortunate incident happened," said Zoo Spokesperson Christan Baumer. "We are terribly sorry for the families that were involved."
Luckily, the bottle mix-up did not end up with any major injuries. Those involved did not ingest enough of the mixture to cause any harm. Still, they are not happy.
"They need to be more careful, especially serving food. Pay attention to what you're grabbing because this could have turned out tragic," the victim said.
The zoo says it will now stop serving blue sno-cones completely to make sure this kind of mix up never happens again.