A dozen young students at Glacier Valley Elementary School in Juneau, Alaska, were accidentally served floor sealant instead of milk at a child care program, school district officials revealed. The dangerous mistake happened after the chemical was mistakenly stored in a food warehouse, CNN reports.
- The sealant was delivered with milk. Back in spring 2021, a pallet of floor sealant was delivered along with a shelf-stable milk shipment to a warehouse the Juneau School District used to store food. That sealant was later given to 12 students at the RALLY summer care program as part of their breakfast.
- The students soon began experiencing side effects. After drinking the substance, the students complained that the milk tasted bad and was burning their mouths and throats. Two adults also drank the chemical, but once the students complained, the staff members “immediately smelled and tasted the ‘milk’ and looked at the container labels.” At this point, they found the kids had been served “slightly scented liquid floor sealant resembling milk,” according to the school district.
- Poison control was called right away. Some students were taken to a nearby hospital or doctor’s office and a few had headaches and nausea along with the burning. However, as of Wednesday evening, all 12 students were said to be recovering, while others had already fully recovered. The floor sealant was removed from the warehouse after the incident. Several boxes had been delivered to other schools in the area but remained unopened.
- The school district released a statement following its investigation. “The Juneau School District Board of Education was appalled to learn of the food service error that occurred earlier this week,” the statement said. “Our immediate priority is with the students impacted by the incident and ensuring their recovery and continued safety. The Board is working to understand how this occurred and ensure we have proper safeguards in place that prevent this kind of error from happening again.”