Two women needed immediate medical treatment after drinking beverages that had been tampered within Germany, according to police.
In March and April, there were four incidents in two food markets of different retail chains in the west of Munich.
An as-yet-unidentified individual introduced a lethal dose of toxic substances from the group of solvents into bottles of soft drinks. The manipulated beverage bottles were then placed on store shelves.
In three cases, the bottles were purchased and consumed in small quantities. All three people affected – a 34-year-old woman, a 42-year-old woman, and a 48-year-old man, all from Munich – complained of dizziness, nausea, and circulatory problems after consumption.
An investigation also found a fourth bottle that was tampered with before it was sold.
The motive of the individual is not yet known and so far no demands have been made, according to police.
German media reported more cases are under investigation since the initial warning and officials have identified the substance in the drinks but they have not publicly said what it is yet.
Authorities urged the public to pay attention to the retained ring when buying screw-top drinks. In some cases, visible impurities could be seen in the bottles. If people believe the bottle is suspicious, they should not dispose of the substance but inform the police immediately.
When opening a bottle, there is a noticeable smell and taste has been described by the people affected as bitter and artificially chemical.
Officials said the investigation was ongoing and they appealed for witnesses to identify if there had been other incidents of bottle tampering since March.
(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)