Growing up, my mom always reminded my siblings and I to take the time to smell something before we ate it. Sure, it may come off as rude or weird to some people, but for my family, this was a surefire way ensure that we knew exactly what we were putting into our mouths.
Not many people I know do this, but over in Hawaii, there is one teacher that is thankful she took a whiff of the liquid her students were given to drink before it was too late.
Parents and staff at Kilohana United Methodist Church Preschool in Honolulu were left furious and mortified after a potentially deadly mix-up took place at the school last week.
According to an inspection report by the Hawaii State Department of Health, students in one of the classes were served Pine-Sol, a popular cleaning agent, instead of the usual apple juice to drink during snack time.
The teacher, who remains unnamed, told the officials that the classroom assistant is to blame for the dangerous mistake as they were the one tasked with preparing the snacks. She allegedly mistook a container containing the "yellow/brown" disinfectant for juice and poured it into the cups.
Luckily, when the assistant returned with the crackers and the "juice," the teacher's suspicion prompted her to check the "juice" before more students drank it.
“The classroom teacher smelled that it was not apple juice and stopped the students from drinking it,” read the report.
Of course, mistakes do happen, especially when Pine-Sol and apple juice are so similar in appearance, but what many are finding unacceptable about this situation is the carelessness of the assistant, who has also not been named.
The report revealed that the liquid that was poured into the cups was still in "the original Pine-sol container," with all the proper labels. To make matters even worse, the assistant grabbed the detergent from the cleaning cart, where no other food items were present. There are cabinets and a fridge in the kitchen, where all food products are properly labeled and stored.
Unfortunately, there were at least two students, aged four and five, who took a sip of the chemical, and needed to be evaluated by paramedics. The young girls, who "seemed perfectly fine," were not taken to the hospital for further examination because their parents didn't think it was necessary.
Local news station Khon 2 reported that the assistant has since been dismissed from the school. It's unclear whether or not any charges will be filed against them.
Even though the person in question no longer works at the school, the incident has some parents on edge.
“I think it’s extremely terrifying. It’s very, very scary, but it’s hard for me or any of the people that I’ve spoken to to understand how it happened in the first place,” Turina Lovelin told the outlet.
Considering inspection has been passed and there is no history of questionable practices, Lovelin doesn't blame the school at all.
"I personally believe that this could have happened anywhere, that an individual who was compromised in some way they could have made this error in any place," she added.