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Needle Scare Prompts Warning to Pepsi Drinkers in Four States

June 15, 1993|From Associated Press

SEATTLE — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers in four states to examine cans of Diet Pepsi and pour the soda into a glass before drinking.

The warning came after syringes were found last week inside two sealed cans of the soda.

The hypodermic needles were in cans that had been bottled six months apart, said Susan Herbert, a spokeswoman for Alpac Corp., the regional bottler and distributor for Pepsi.

No injuries were reported and initial laboratory analysis showed no sign of contamination in the cans, the FDA said.

"Consumers are the last line of defense in something like this, (and) they simply have to be aware," said Roger Lowell, district director of the FDA. He suggested that Diet Pepsi drinkers pour the soda into a glass before they drink it and examine cans for signs of tampering.

The FDA said in a statement Sunday that consumers in Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Hawaii and Guam, where Alpac distributes, should inspect Diet Pepsi cans closely.

FDA investigators spent the weekend at the Alpac warehouse and bottling works, interviewing managers and checking employee files. The investigators are trying to determine if any past or present workers have diabetes or otherwise need to give themselves injections.

On Monday, the FDA said it was investigating claims by two men in Louisiana who said they each found a syringe in Pepsi cans.

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