Pa. restaurant shut down after children burn throats on juice

The Star Buffet in Lancaster was ordered to close Tuesday because of 23 building code violations

The Star Buffet in Lancaster was closed after two children burned their throats from drinking apple juice at the restaurant.
Courtesy: ABC27 News

LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – A restaurant in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania where three children became sick after drinking apple juice has been shut down.

A notice posted on the door states the Star Buffet was ordered to close because of 23 building code violations. The violations included mold found near a public address system and an extension cord hanging from the ceiling.

The manager said the notice was posted Tuesday morning. Employees were clearing out the building in the afternoon.

The state Department of Agriculture inspected the restaurant Monday and found it was out of compliance with multiple violations but no imminent health hazards.

As part of the ongoing investigation, a box of crystal lye was secured for lab tests, inspectors wrote in their report.

East Lampeter Township police said a 4-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy had burns to their mouths and throats, and both vomited after drinking the juice Friday evening.

A 6-year-old boy had stomach discomfort and a man who was with the three children had burns in his mouth after tasting the juice, police said.

The two children with more severe reactions were flown to Penn State Hershey Medical Center. They were listed in fair condition Monday. The third child and the adult were released after treatment at Lancaster General Hospital.

Investigators said the juice was served in polystyrene cups and the reactions were confined to one group of patrons. No other customers reported any reactions or discomfort.

Police believe an unknown caustic substance was in the juice, but they won’t know what it was until lab tests are complete.

The owner said they’ve been buying the same apple juice for ten years and never had any issues. He said the juice was purchased from a store earlier in the day and opened just before it was served to the children.

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