The 77-year-old Italian woman – named only as Mrs Rosetta – made the drink at the request of her grandchildren and one of their friends. She thoughtfully made extra cups for her son, her husband and herself.
But within an hour of drinking the hot chocolate her husband began suffering from vomiting and a stomach upset – and was soon followed by the old lady, the nine-to-12-year-old children, and her son. All were rushed to hospital for emergency treatment in the north-eastern town of Vicenza, with one of the children being kept in for 20 days, according to Corriere Del Veneto.
The illness was traced back to the sachets, and Mrs Rosetta soon found herself in hot water when she was charged with causing injury. A file has been passed to prosecutors, who must now decide whether there’s much to be gained from crying over spilt milk.
It is believed that the sachets had an expiry date of 1990 – meaning that they were probably bought some time in the late 1980s, before the fall of the Berlin Wall. The ageing chocolate powder then lay forgotten for decades in the bottom of a cupboard until Mrs Rosetta dug them out, mixed the sachets with warm milk, and served the contaminated hot drinks to her family.
The Daily Mail reports that the ingredients of hot chocolate mix include powdered milk, which can go off after long periods. Other ingredients, such as powdered cocoa and sugar, deteriorate in quality but do not usually go off.
Meanwhile we rather suspect that those kids will be carefully scrutinising the dates on their nan’s Easter eggs today. Grand-mamma mia!