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France Lifts Ban on Coke; Phenol Blamed in Scare

June 25, 1999|From Reuters

DUNKIRK, France — Coca-Cola Co. said Thursday that some of its shipping pallets had been contaminated by the toxic chemical phenol, in a health scare that led to sales bans in Belgium and France.

France lifted its sales ban on Coca-Cola products produced at its plant in Dunkirk on Thursday after the French food safety agency deemed them safe to drink, following a decision by Belgium on Wednesday to resume sales.

"All of the pallets which were contaminated have been withdrawn," Henry Schimberg, chief executive of bottling division Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., told a news conference in Dunkirk.

The ban, imposed last week as some 200 consumers in Belgium and France suffered nausea and dizziness after drinking Coke products, led to the biggest recall in Coca-Cola's history.

Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Enterprises, which is 40% owned by Coke, owns the plants in Belgium and France.

On the New York Stock Exchange, Coca-Cola closed up 88 cents at $62.63.

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