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National Briefing / Massachusetts

Tainted coffee sickened six

October 26, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Six Harvard University medical researchers were poisoned in August after drinking coffee that was laced with a chemical preservative, according to university officials.

In an internal memo first reported in the Boston Herald, the school said the coffee came from a machine near their lab that later tested positive for sodium azide, a common preservative used in labs.

After drinking the coffee Aug. 26, the six reported symptoms including dizziness and ringing in the ears, and one passed out. They were treated at a hospital and released.

The incident is under investigation. Harvard police spokesman Steve Catalano would not say whether authorities believed a crime was committed.

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