Police are beginning an international investigation into the incident.
Police are investigating Coca-Cola after cans were found to be contaminated with human waste. The international investigation is primarily occurring at a factory in Lisburn, Ireland, as it had to be entirely shut down last week after the machines became entirely clogged with the waste, according to recent reports. A spokesman for the Police Service of Northern Ireland said, “Detectives are investigating an incident at commercial premises in the Lisburn area following reports that a consignment of containers delivered to the premises had been contaminated.” The cans arrive at the factory without tops, before they are filled with Coke and distributed to retail stores across the UK, and although the cans normally come from somewhere in the United Kingdom, on this occasion they arrived from Germany.
A source reportedly told the Belfast Telegraph, “It was absolutely horrible, and the machines had to be turned off for about 15 hours to be cleaned. It was unusual because normally the cans come from somewhere else in the UK, but this time they apparently came from Germany. The rumor is that some poor immigrants could have made that long journey in the lorry and that in their desperation were forced to use the cans instead of a toilet. It’s really shocking – and beyond the shock of finding something pretty disgusting in the cans is the thought there could have been poor people in that situation. And if they did make that journey, where are they now?”
One official, Alliance councilor Amanda Grehan explained to the Telegraph that if those cans had got into shops it would have been “extremely dangerous for people.” A spokesperson released a statement on Monday stating, “We are treating this matter extremely seriously and are conducting a thorough investigation in cooperation with the PSNI. The problem was identified immediately through our robust quality procedures and all of the product from the affected batch was immediately impounded and will not be sold. This is an isolated incident and does not affect any products currently on sale.” Together with this statement, the Food Standards Agency has said, “there is no evidence to suggest that any affected product has reached the market.”
This reported incident comes at a time when health-related issues are constantly being linked to Coke. An example of this is a study sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, where researchers found that individuals who consumed at least one soda a day had a 44% higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome during the four-year study, as well as a 48% increased risk of heart attack or stroke when consuming one or more sodas per day, as compared to those that don’t drink it every day or at all. Soft drink consumption has also been linked to respiratory disorders such as COPD and asthma.