February 26, 2001

Altered Snapples Found in Risley

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A Cornell female student who wanted to send a message to her fellow Risley Residential College peers, tampered with Snapple bottles in a Risley vending machine and replaced them with her own label last week.

According to Cornell Police’s (CUPD) morning report, 17 Snapple bottles were filled with an “unknown liquid” in the basement vending machine of Risley. The incident was reported to CUPD last Thursday.

A yellowish liquid, which really consisted of water and food coloring, was found in the Snapple bottles along with a homemade label which read, “Urine,” according to Linda Grace-Kobas, director of Cornell News Service.

In addition, the label included a picture of a young man with lemons and a person’s first name on it.

The female tampered with the packaged products last Tuesday but the incident was reported two days later by the vending company who services the Risley machines. After learning of the investigation, the student contacted CUPD on Friday and admitted altering the bottles.

“The person came forward and said she did not realize what she had done would be considered a serious offense,” Grace-Kobas said. “She wanted to send a message to her fellow residents about use of vending machines.”

It was apparent that the bottles had been altered since the safety seals had been broken off and a homemade label replaced the familiar Snapple mark. The vending company proceeded to check all other vending machines on campus after discovering the contaminated bottles.

No student reported purchasing or drinking from one of the tampered bottles.

While it is unknown if other people were involved in the episode, CUPD is still questioning the Risley student and investigating the incident.


Archived article by Rachel Pessah