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Tiger Tiger served cleaning substances instead of salt with tequila shots, leading to hospitalisations

tiger tiger served cleaning substance

A nightclub has been fined after one of its bartenders mistakenly gave customers caustic soda instead of salt with their tequila shots. Four customers were taken to hospital after ingesting the cleaning chemical at the Tiger Tiger nightclub in Haymarket, Central London, Westminster City Council said.

The venue was fined £120,000 having pleaded guilty to four charges under Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work act at Westminster Magistrates Court last week. An investigation by the council’s health and safety team found the incident happened when a group visited the venue and ordered four tequila shots, often served with salt and lime, on December 7, 2021.

The bartender prepared the drinks and whilst doing so, realised there was no salt to accompany the tequila shots. He went to an unlit area behind the bar and used a disposable plastic cup to scoop what he believed was salt from a large white container which was on a shelf, the council said.

Tiger Tiger hospitalised club goers
Tequila shots are often accompanied by salt and a wedge of lime (Image: Cappi Thompson/Getty Images)

The customers then poured the white substance onto the back of their hands, licked it and drank the shot. They immediately became unwell and the emergency services were called.

When he realised something was wrong, the bartender tasted the substance himself, which burnt his mouth and tongue.

Police officers who attended the scene found a white container with a caustic soda label on it, the council said. When tested, the substance was found to have a PH level of 13, making it a strong alkaline.

Councillor Aicha Less, deputy leader and cabinet member for Communities, Public Protection and Licensing said: “The shocking details of this case show a lack of attention and proper process for handling toxic cleaning chemicals.

“This incident shows that overlooking basic safety measures can have the most serious consequences. We hope the significant fine awarded in court acts to all businesses as a warning, preventing this from ever happening again.”

-George Lithgow, PA and Dan Wiggins

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