Following media reports of allegedly tainted alcohol being served at all-inclusive resorts in Mexico, the U.S. State Department has updated its information on Mexico to include a caution about drinking alcohol in moderation.

While the State Department's travel warning on Mexico -- which focuses on potential violence from criminal organizations -- has not been updated, the information provided on the country has been.

"The Department of State provides up-to-date safety and security information through our Consular Information Program," a spokesperson said. "Following these reports and in consultation with our posts in Mexico, we updated our country-specific information for Mexico to provide updated safety information regarding potentially tainted alcohol."

Under the "Safety and Security" heading, along with other topics, the website now states: "Alcohol: There have been allegations that consumption of tainted or substandard alcohol has resulted in illness or blacking out. If you choose to drink alcohol, it is important to do so in moderation and to stop and seek medical attention if you begin to feel ill."

The State Department spokesperson urged U.S. citizens who become ill to seek medical attention immediately and contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

The update came after a report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about a January incident in which a 20-year-old woman drowned in a pool at the Iberostar Paraiso Del Mar after drinking with her brother. Her brother nearly drowned and suffered a concussion. Her family's attorney later visited the Riviera Maya resort and reported, "They serve alcoholic drinks with alcohol of bad quality and in great amounts, mixing different types of drinks." The report also highlights stories from other tourists who said they blacked out after only a few drinks, furthering the question of whether the alcohol was "tainted."

The Mexico Tourism Board said in a statement that it has been monitoring the situation. "We can confirm the strictest guidelines and processes related to alcohol procurement, handling and serving of guests with the goal of ensuring quality and control are in place by the hotel and industry," it said.

In a statement, Iberostar said it was “deeply saddened by this incident" and that guest safety was of "utmost importance."

"Iberostar Hotels & Resorts welcomes more than half a million guests per year in Mexico. A high standard of quality for food and beverages is crucial for the daily operation of our resorts," the company said. "We work with food and beverage providers whose products comply with the highest quality standards to guarantee the satisfaction and safety of all of our guests. We work with a host of providers in the area who service other hotel chains and renowned brands. Similarly, we only purchase sealed bottles that satisfy all standards required by the designated regulatory authorities."

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI