Think twice before using hotel room coffee pots

Published: Jan. 23, 2007 at 11:37 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 20, 2007 at 3:12 PM CDT
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Ask just about anyone in law enforcement, and they'll tell you to be careful if you ever brew coffee in a hotel room.

"I know enough now that whenever I go to a hotel, regardless of how nice it is, I'll never use a coffee pot," said Marshall County District Attorney Steve Marshall.

Instead of brewing coffee, coffee pots are sometimes used to brew methamphetamine.

And since meth labs in hotels aren't anything new, Rick Phillips of the Marshall County Drug Enforcement Unit says there's definitely a risk.

"The coffee makers that you find in every motel room is an ideal heat source. They mix it up in the coffee pot, put it on a heat source and let it sit there and cook," said Phillips.

It's common knowledge to those who fight meth, but a shock to your average citizen.

"That's a little nerve rattling," said Marshall County resident Toni Jones.

"I didn't know that.  Proud you told me," said Marshall County resident Daryl Rice.

If you were to drink coffee from a pot used to make meth, it could be hazardous to your health.

The problem is residue from chemicals such as red phosphorus and iodine.

"Typical sickness and issues that would come with any chemical exposure, simple nausea, vomiting to maybe a hospital visit," said Phillips.

Phillips says it's pretty easy to tell if a coffee pot has been used to cook meth.

It will have a dark reddish-orange stain.

You should also be skeptical if there's a chemical odor when you walk in the room.