Fact Check

Did a School Accidentally Give Students Pine-Sol Instead of Apple Juice?

An assistant at a Honolulu school was fired after somehow confusing the cleaning liquid for a "snack."

Published Dec. 4, 2018

Students at a school in Honolulu, Hawaii were accidentally given Pine-Sol fluid instead of apple juice.

School officials in Honolulu, Hawaii, issued apologies to local parents after a freak accident that occurred on 27 November 2018 that received national press coverage.

According to a report from state officials, students at Kilohana United Methodist Church Preschool were mistakenly served Pine-Sol brand cleaning fluid instead of apple juice after a classroom assistant tasked with making snacks "saw the yellow/brown colored liquid container on a clean-up cart in the kitchen and returned to the classroom" with it:

The liquid was in the original Pine-Sol container and proper [sic] labeled. The cart has no food items on or in it, a rubbish can and cleaning supplies are stored on this cart. The cleaning supplies are stored below the kitchen sink and in the janitors room. All the food items in the kitchen are properly stored and labeled in the kitchen cabinets.

The assistant then poured the cleaning liquid into cups for the students, but the instructor on duty reportedly intervened after some students had "sipped" their drinks, thereby preventing a wider emergency.

Three students were examined by medical providers but did not show signs of illness. The assistant who committed the mistake was fired, while school officials met with parents on 29 November 2018 to assuage their concerns.

"I think it's extremely terrifying," one parent, Turina Lovelin, told a local news outlet. "It's very, very scary, but it's hard for me or any of the people that I've spoken to to understand how it happened in the first place."


Gilmour, Jared.   "Preschool Served Kids Pine-Sol Thinking It Was Apple Juice, Hawaii Health Inspectors Say."     Miami Herald.   30 November 2018.

Morales, Manolo.   "East Oahu Preschool Students Mistakenly Served Pine-Sol."     KHON-TV.   30 November 2018.

Arturo Garcia is a former writer for Snopes.