After eating beef caused a mysterious illness to strike a whole Tampa family - including a nine-month pregnant woman - tests have shown that the suspect meat was likely contaminated with lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD - the powerful hallucinogenic substance that's more commonly associated with flower power.
Jessica Rosado, 31, and her two young daughters, aged just 6 and 7, were rushed to hospital on Monday when they and Rosado's partner, 24-year-old Ronnie Morales, began hallucinating. Rosado required induced labor at the behest of doctors, giving birth to a healthy baby boy. Morales and the girls were released on Wednesday following observation, and Rosado and her newborn son followed shortly after on Thursday. When tests results were returned on Friday, however, it became apparent that the contaminant was an unusual one not ordinarily found in foodstuffs.
Sold at a Walmart in Tampa, the meat has now been recalled from the shelves as investigations continue to ascertain how the drug made its way to the thin-cut bottom round steak, supplied by Cargill's, who have not reported any similar circumstances with other products. Walmart released the following statement to the Tampa Bay Times, apologizing to and reassuring customers:
"Like everyone else in the community, we are deeply disturbed about this situation and we are taking it very seriously. We want answers and we're committed to working with officials to get to the bottom of this.
We know our customers expect safe, quality food and we require our suppliers to meet the highest of food safety standards. It's unclear where and how the food was tampered with or if the tampering occurred after purchase. However, out of an abundance of caution, we have pulled the remaining product from the store.
We have been in touch with our supplier and they tell us they have no reports of similar incidents. We are also reviewing our store's surveillance video to see if we can find any information that might assist in the investigation. At this point, we're not aware of any suspicious activity."
Cargill have expressed that they will cooperate with police to determine how the LSD contaminated the meat, though it appears to be an isolated incident at this point. The family has also been cleared of suspicion by Tampa police. It's anticipated that further toxicology results will be released in around three weeks.