A woman, nine months pregnant, and her family were forced to seek medial attention after eating steak purchased at Wal-Mart. The medical examiner's initial tests showed the steak was laced with the hallucinogenic drug LSD.
The woman, Jessica Rosado, her partner Ronnie Morales and her two daughters became sick after their first meal in their new home they had moved into two days earlier, according to the Tampa Police Department.
Morales was the first to feel sick, so Rosado drove him and her daughters to St Joseph's Hospital after calling 911.
Rosado then began experiencing the same symptoms, and was taken to a hospital across the street where labor was induced for safety reasons, and her baby delivered. The two daughters, ages 6 and 7, were sickened a little later that evening.
After police took samples from that family meal earlier that evening, the Hillsborough County medical examiner's office told police on Friday that the steak was contaminated, testing positive for the presence of lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD.
The oven was also removed from the family home for examination.
The toxicology blood results from the family have not been completed; police say it could take three weeks for results.
"There was enough of some type of substance to make all four members of that family gravely ill," Jane Castor, Tampa's police chief, told a press conference on Friday. "The family has no idea where this may have come from."
She said that police had taken all the other bottom round steaks from the shelves of Wal-Mart for testing, but that this was believed to be an isolated case and that it was not clear whether a crime had been committed.
LSD is a drug that was used in the sixties as a hallucinogenic, and is also a fairly fragile chemical that can be diluted at room temperature, or when exposed to light. If the initial tests are correct, and LSD was present on the food, it is extremely unlikely that it would have survived cooking. Officials are also questioning how the dose could have been placed in or on the meat.
Wal-Mart's full cooperation has been given to police and federal and state agriculture officials. A spokeswoman pointed out that Wal-Mart receives its meat already prepared and packaged from suppliers, and it was unclear at what point contamination might have taken place.
The family was released from the hospital on Wednesday, however Rosado had an addition to her family, her newborn son, whom police said was healthy, and they were released the next day.
"We're just very grateful that the family appears to be OK," Dianna Gee, the Wal-Mart spokeswoman, said.
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