JUST IN: The Ministry of Health has issued a national alert saying that 19 people have died from ‘consuming alcohol tainted with toxic levels of methanol in Costa Rica’.
Costa Rica — not the Dominican Republic, though we suspect the same culprit in the deaths there. (The FBI is still conducting an investigation.)
- Buy duty-free alcohol from the airport to drink on your travels. Shops at airports are heavily regulated so it’s rare that tainted booze would show up on their shelves.
- Avoid hard liquor—the most common type of alcohol to be tainted—at bars. Stick to wine and bottled or canned beer, which are less likely to be bootleg alcohol.
- Watch closely as your drink is made or poured. You should be doing this even in the US. Watch that everything that goes into your glass comes from a sealed bottle and that nothing ‘suspicious’ is added to your drink.
Bottom line; pay attention to the taste. If it tastes ‘off’ don’t drink it.