An Applebee's restaurant in Michigan reportedly served a 15-month-old child some type of alcohol containing margarita mix instead of apple juice last week.
His parents got suspicious when he started to act strangely at the table and they tasted his drink.
Although this doesn't mean that you should start tasting your child's drink every time you eat out at a restaurant, it is a good reminder that you likely should if your child refuses his favorite drink or is acting different after drinking something you didn't prepare yourself.
Surprisingly, this isn't the first time that this has happened at an Applebee's. A similar thing happened to a California toddler in 2007. At the time, Applebee's stated that pre-mixed margaritas and apple juice were kept in bottles of similar size and shape, so an employee must have grabbed the wrong one when filling the toddler's cup. A corporate representative of Applebee's assured everyone that workers 'learned a very important lesson' from the incident.
This doesn't seem to be a common issue at Applebee's or other restaurants, but hopefully they will all learn a lesson from the incident this time. Applebee's new plan to pour apple juice from single serving containers at the table seems like an easy and juice fix.
Better yet, get your kids to drink milk when you eat out, as it seems it might be less likely to mistake milk for an alcoholic beverage.
Although Applebee's is making changes based on the incident, it is a little concerning that they seem to be actually distancing themselves from the severity of the incident in saying that 'we know that the child was served a trace amount of alcohol.' That is based on a police report showing the beverage only had 0.014% alcohol. But that test was done with a PBT or Portable Breath Tester, which is not designed to test liquids. The police tested the liquid by holding the PBT over the drink, so you wouldn't expect the results to compare to the usual concentrations of alcohol that people are more familiar with - 4 to 6% for beer and 12 to 14% for wine.
If they know they gave the toddler the wrong drink, then the real test result that they should be focusing on is the child's blood alcohol level of 0.10, which is above Michigan's DUI level of 0.08.