My father and brother have both ingested cyanide.
Please read the info-graphic below while I have a meltdown.
How did this happen? I spent most of this morning pacing up and down... asking myself this question, asking my father this question and yelling this question out to the multiverse in general.
My aunt had sent a food supplement* from abroad... and my dad mistaking it for a fruit snack, ripped open the packet and was liberally offering it to all at home. I declined the first time I was offered, and the second time, my brother told me it tasted vile and was best avoided.
On a chance phone call with my aunt, I find out that this product is actually meant for a relative with cancer, that the active ingredient ("vitamin" B17) is actually cyanide. In addition, there was a warning message on the back of the pack stating "eating 2 or more kernels can cause acute cyanide poisoning".
By this time my dad has eaten six, my brother two and the Baby's nanny had popped three in her mouth but spat them out because of the taste.
From that moment, I was hyperventilating and in a total frenzy, reading up on the internet, making frantic calls to the National Poisons Centre and blasting my dad for not reading the package or the instructions that they were meant for our sick relative.
Happily, none of them had any acute effects, but I loaded them with vitamin B12 (antidote, usually given by injection) and will be getting their blood tested for a couple of weeks and keep an eye out for nasty effects.
What gives me the shivers is that I could easily have eaten it and it would have passed on to the little Bumtrinket, with disastrous effects. We would have known nothing until she suddenly stopped breathing or her kidneys packed up or something. I was shaking all the time and didn't stop until I burst into tears, hugged her and let all the misery and fear out.
Today's lesson: always ALWAYS check what you eat, especially if it is something new or unfamiliar and keep yourselves safe!
* I am not naming it for ethical reasons, i.e. someone may be tempted to try it