April 12, 2011

Toddler Gets Toasted At Applebee’s

DineEquity Inc. said on Monday that it was immediately retraining workers at its Applebee's restaurant nationwide after a server at a suburban Detroit location accidentally served alcohol to a toddler.

The company said it would also change the way it serves juice to youngsters to eliminate the chance of any mixups that could result in any more toddlers receiving alcohol.

Taylor Dill-Reese went to an Applebee's in Madison Heights, Michigan where she ordered her 15-month-old son Dominick an apple juice.

The child instead received a margarita, and his mom said she only realized something was wrong when Dominick "kind of laid his head on the table and dozed off a little bit and woke up and got real happy."

At first his mother blamed his odd behavior on lack of sleep.  However, she said that Wilson's father tasted his son's juice only to realize it was an alcoholic concoction that was stored in a mislabeled container.

"The container was apple juice but it had margarita mix in it," Dill-Reese said.

She said her son was immediately rushed to the hospital where his blood alcohol content level was measured at 0.10.

"They said if he had drank that whole cup he would have died," she said, adding that she and her family will never return to the eatery.

"It was unreal," she told CNN. "You don't expect to go to a family restaurant, and your 15-month-old gets served alcohol."

Applebee's released a statement on Monday saying it was relieved that Dominick was "not seriously injured as a result of accidentally receiving the wrong beverage" and apologizing to his family "for the stress and worry this caused them."

It said it would begin to serve apple juice to children only from single-serve containers at the table and would "retrain all severs on our beverage pouring policy, emphasizing that non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages must be stored in completely separate and identified containers."


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