UPDATE 3/10/17: East Lampeter Twp Police has received preliminary test results from the PA Dept. of Agriculture. These results will require further, more definitive, testing. There is no evidence at this time that the apple juice alone caused the injuries to the children. From investigation thus far, there is no evidence or information that the public is in any further risk of a similar incident, as this appears to be an isolated incident. East Lampeter Twp Police will resume being the point of contact for media releases and further investigation information.
UPDATE: 3/9/17, Due to multiple local, state and federal agencies being involved in this investigation in various capacities it has been decided that the PA Dept. Agriculture will be used as a single point of contact for media releases and media information requests.
UPDATE: 1540 hours 3/6/17, PA Dept of Agriculture conducted an inspection of the restaurant on this date, and will be the Agency conducting testing of products and liquid samples collected at the scene. The restaurant remains open for business.
At 7:14 pm, Friday, 3/3/17, East Lampeter Twp Police responded to an EMS assist call at the Star Buffet, 2232 Lincoln Highway East. It was reported that three children had drank apple juice and were having a severe reaction. Arriving officers found two children, a female age 4 and a male age 10, that were experiencing burns to their mouths and throats, and were vomiting. A third male child, age 6, in the group was experiencing stomach discomfort. It was determined that all three children had the reactions after drinking from styrofoam cups that were served to them. The reactions came from cups that were to have apple juice. An adult male in the group also experienced burns in his mouth after tasting the liquid. The reactions were confined to one group of patrons and no other persons reported any reactions or discomfort.
All of the children were transported to Lancaster General Hospital for treatment. The two children with more severe reactions were upgraded to trauma patients and were air lifted to Hershey Medical Center. The third child, age 6, and the adult male were treated at Lancaster General Hospital and were released. Both children at Hershey Medical Center are listed as serious but stable condition.
East Lampeter Twp Police are actively investigating the incident to determine the cause in conjunction with the Lancaster Co. District Attorney’s Office, PA Dept. Agriculture, and the US Food and Drug Administration.