Think you and your family are safe from ingesting drugs? Well, think again. Nearly 50 people have been hospitalized after eating bread from a California bakery that was somehow laced with synthetic drugs - specifically a synthetic pot known as "spice."
A Little Something Extra in the Bread
Health officials in Orange County reported that a “substantial” amount of synthetic pot was present in Rosca de Reyes bread (otherwise known as king cake) from Cholula’s Bakery in Santa Ana.
Numerous people reported feeling nauseous, experiencing vivid hallucinations and having out-of-body events after eating the bread, while one woman claimed she fainted.
One of the men who ate the spice-laced bread, Francisco Mora, claimed he is still feeling the effects more than a week later, complaining that he still has back pain and headaches. He slammed the bakery for “not thinking of all the people who would react to it, including babies and older people.”
Those affected by the toxic bread were all between the ages of 4 and 60.
Investigating the Bakery
Turns out health officials had previously closed Cholula’s Bakery due to a “cockroach infestation.” However, after learning the bread was laced with a synthetic drug, Orange County officials opened a criminal investigation. Charges have yet to be filed.
The owner of Cholula’s Bakery has since apologized, but is unsure how the bread came to be contaminated. Health officials say the bakery will remain closed until an inspection is completed, the entire facility is cleaned and all the ingredients for the contaminated bread are disposed of. All of the bakery’s employees must also receive training on food safety.
Spiked Foods on the Rise
Eating secretly laced foods is a frightening thought, but emergency room visits related to both accidental and malicious contact with synthetic pot are on the rise.
Nearly 11,000 people were sent to emergency rooms for spice-related incidents in 2010. By 2011, that number jumped to 28,500 and has continued climbing ever since.
According to the Department of Health, spice can cause “severe psychological or physical dependence.” Last October, Washington, D.C. lawmakers took that warning to heart and officially classified synthetic weed as a Schedule I drug. With that move, synthetic pot shares a class with drugs like heroin and crack cocaine.
Learn more about the signs and symptoms of synthetic marijuana use.
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