Should Drinking Alcohol in Mexico be a Concern?
Most everyone has seen reports over the past week or so of tainted alcohol being served in Mexico at all-inclusive resorts. It is tragic when things like this occur, and doubly tragic when they occur when people are vacationing!
While the idea of this is certainly disturbing these sorts of things can happen anywhere at any time around the world, and even in the US (although rare and most likely not recently this link shares a horrible story of such a event). A quick google search will turn up well documented cases recently in India, Pakistan and Russia as well, but I’m sure it happens with some frequency across the globe and often is unreported or less publicized.
Of course it should be completely unacceptable for (A) people to illegally brew alcohol for resale and (B) for someone (or company) to purchase illegal alcohol to serve to guests, but human nature sometimes shows that greed trumps common sense and some people are willing to put others at risk in order to put a few $$ in their pocket.
The question I am getting is this – “Is it safe to go to Mexico? Is it safe to drink alcohol there?” How do I answer that? Of course it’s not safe to drink alcohol in excess anywhere in the world (even in your backyard), but the real question is how wide spread is the problem?
Of course I have no way of knowing the truth behind how some apparently tainted alcohol was served at an all-inclusive resort (or perhaps several resorts) but I have a feeling based on traveling to many, many Mexican resorts many times for several years – as well as having hundreds of clients travel there as some of the 10,000,000 Americans that travel to Mexico each year (approx 5 Million to Cancun area). What is my feeling? That some greedy people allowed profit to come before safety. That behavior is not uncommon anywhere in the world.
I am confident that the hoteliers in the tourist areas will be taking extreme measures to insure that this never occurs at their resort in the future – below is a statement from AMResorts, and very popular and well respected organization that delivers a terrific experience. Obviously they are taking things seriously!
Dear Valued Travel Partner,
We understand that there are growing concerns surrounding travel to Mexico in light of the recent media reports alleging tainted alcohol at all-inclusive resorts across the country.
Please rest assured that the health and safety of our guests and staff is always our top priority, and we strive to deliver exceptional vacation experiences. We remain committed to upholding the highest standards of excellence in hospitality and delivering outstanding service to each and every guest.
In fact, our resorts welcome thousands of visitors a year and proudly celebrate a high repeat guest ratio. We attribute our resort’s strong track record for guest satisfaction to our strict guidelines and standards, and our trained staff’s commitment to superior quality and service.
Strict policies and procedures are in place to safeguard all food and beverage products, including alcohol, as well as to ensure the health and well-being of guests. As part of our hotels’Endless Privileges®, Unlimited-Luxury® and Unlimited-Fun® offerings, we only serve premium brand domestic and international top-shelf spirits from leading and certified suppliers.
Below you will find a detailed list of key related quality control food and beverage procedures as well as health, safety and staff training procedures that we have in place to ensure our guests’ well-being at every property. These include, but are not limited to:
Food & Beverage
- All alcohol is purchased from approved, licensed and bonded vendors that meet all standards required by the designated regulatory authorities
- A valid Certificate of Registration is required from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for all imported liquors
- A valid Certificate of Registration is required from the Mexican authorities for all national liquors, known as COFEPRIS (Comisión Federal para la Protección contra Riesgos Sanitarios)
- Letters of authorization are required from all direct liquor manufacturers to the regional or local distributors, validating the import and distribution of their brands
Health & Safety
- Access to a doctor 24 hours a day, seven days a week is available to all guests for minor medical situations
- Partnership with top hospital facility in the destination available to all guests for more serious medical needs
- All guests are informed of payment terms for doctor calls in advance, in line with best hospitality industry practices
- Fees for medical services are regulated by government and tourism authorities
- If medical, police or government involvement are needed, options are immediately discussed with the guest to ensure their comfort, safety and convenience
Hotel Staff Training
- Mandatory and ongoing training is conducted to prepare staff to immediately recognize and respond to situations including symptoms from excessive alcohol consumption and other health-related issues
- Organizations and certifications include but are not limited to the Cristal Awardfor International Standards and Distintivo H validated by the Mexican Tourism Board
Furthermore, we are taking additional steps to reaffirm our commitment to guests and partners, which is also outlined below accordingly:
- Random testing of bottles of liquor from every hotel by a non-affiliated certified lab
- External audit of liquor warehouse procedures and controls
- Immediate destruction of all liquor bottles before disposal, and any open bottles left in guest rooms, restaurants and bars
- All drinks to be prepared directly in front of guests upon request
- Visibly show sealed liquor bottles to guests upon request
- All guests will be prohibited from bringing alcoholic beverages from outside vendors to the property
- Increase the number of surveillance cameras at the bars and other public areas in order to further ensure guest safety
We have complete confidence in the strict procedures and protocols we have in place, and the professionalism and attentiveness of our staff. We look forward to continuing to welcome thousands of guests who consistently visit our resorts in Mexico and other destinations. We aim to deliver nothing less than perfect guest experiences at our resorts.
Thank you for your ongoing support during this time and we truly appreciate your partnership.
Gonzalo del Peon
So should you feel safe going to Mexico with all the bad press lately? – I do
Is Mexico the right place for you and your family to go on your next vacation? – It depends on what sort of experience you have in mind
Talk to your preferred travel adviser. Hopefully that is one of the team here at EZTravelPad where we like to think of ourselves as “Your friends….in the travel business”