On January 17, Hiland Dairy recalled about 240,000 cartons of 1/2-pint (236 mL) 1% Low Fat Chocolate Milk from schools, hospitals, and other institutions in Texas and Oklahoma.
The problem is that the milk may contain a food-grade sanitizer called Synergex, which is used to disinfect surfaces and dairy processing equipment. It can also cause gastrointestinal illness if consumed.
The recalled milk was produced in Norman, Oklahoma. The cartons are labeled with UPC 72060-00156-3, Sell-By Date 1/27/21, and Plant Code: 4025.
The recall was announced after at least 50 children at SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital in Oklahoma City drank the contaminated milk.
The hospital transferred 28 children to Oklahoma Children’s Hospital for evaluation and monitoring by a pediatric gastroenterology specialist.
On January 22, a lawsuit was filed by the mother of a 16 year-old girl who developed blisters in her mouth and throat after drinking the milk while she was hospitalized for an unrelated medical problem at St. Anthony Hospital.
Lawyers said her doctors compared Synergex to Drano — “So essentially my client consumed Drano in her chocolate milk.” The girl also had to be monitored for ulcers in her stomach and intestines.
The lawsuit was filed against Hiland Dairy Foods Company LLC in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma — Case Number 5:21-cv-00054-HE.