As a rule, smelling something before you eat it is a good idea, especially when you can’t be 100% certain of its quality.
Your nose might detect something spoiled or just plain wrong about your food, and it can be the difference between a bout of food poisoning and having a relaxing stomach!
It might seem a bit odd, especially if you do it all the time around others.
But for a teacher at Kilohana United Methodist Church Preschool, located in Honolulu, Hawaii, her decision to take a sniff of a drink about to be distributed to a class full of students was a potentially life-saving one.
The classroom assistant of this class was tasked with the job of preparing some yummy snacks for the whole class to enjoy.
This assistant returned to the class with a bunch of crackers and a yellowish liquid she believed to be apple juice, which was the class’s usual drink for snack time.
But the teacher felt suspicious that something could be wrong and decided to take a cup of the juice and sniff it – and she was immediately getting the attention of her students and telling them not to take a sip!
Apparently, the classroom assistant had mistaken a bottle of yellow-brown liquid for the needed juice when it was actually a cleaning agent known as Pine-Sol.
The two liquids certainly look quite similar, but many parents and others believe that this classroom assistant behaved extremely irresponsibly not to double check when she was in charge of an entire classroom of children.
Although mistakes and accidents happen, in this situation, where many kids could have been hurt, this is a mistake a little harder to forgive.
Even more strangely, the Pine-Sol bottle that the assistant accidentally poured the liquid from was in its original bottle, meaning it was completely labelled exactly as it was when it was first purchased.
It was also on the cleaning cart, not placed alongside any food or drinks, and there were no consumable items on that cleaning cart.
Meanwhile, all the juice bottles were either in the fridge or in the pantry cabinets.
As such, the mix-up is even more confusing.
The teacher’s quick thinking saved the children in that classroom.
Even so, two kids, aged five and four respectively, had already taken a sip before they were stopped.
Thankfully, these girls were examined quickly by paramedics and found to be completely fine.
They were not brought to a hospital and their parents say they appear to be alright.
The classroom assistant who made the mistake has been fired from their position at the school.
There is still no word as to whether any legal charges will be made against them.
Meanwhile, the fact that this switch happened despite there being no easy way to mix up the apple juice and the Pine-Sol has parents quite nervous, especially since no one seems to be able to explain how this accident could have occurred at all.
For now, though, everyone is safe and unharmed, and staff will be more careful about handing out drinks and food to the students in the future!