Last updated on 12 December 2013

Caribbean soft drink found to be contaminated with dangerous levels of cocaine

Food Alert: for Action

Ref 08/2013

A Caribbean soft drink, labelled as Cole Cold Pear-D, has been found to be contaminated with dangerous levels of cocaine. The FSA was alerted to this following a death reported in Southampton, this is the subject of an investigation by Hampshire Police.

The presence of cocaine renders the product a very serious health risk. This makes the product unsafe for consumption under Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No. 178/2002.

The product packaging lists the manufacturer's name as S.M. Jaleel & Co Ltd, Otaheite, Trinidad. However, the company has said that the Cole Cold Pear-D product has not been exported to the UK and that the label was last produced in September 2013 for the local Caribbean market.

Despite investigations by the enforcement authorities, it has not yet been possible to obtain any distribution details for this product. Investigations are ongoing.

Identification of the affected product

  • Caribbean soft drink, Pear-D, Cole Cold fruit beverage
  • 590ml/20 fl.oz bottle
  • All dates and batch codes

To assist officers in correctly identifying this product, pictures of the product are attached to this alert.

Advice to consumers

If you have purchased the product with packaging as per the photograph provided, please do not drink it as it poses a serious risk to health. Take the bottle to your nearest police station for further investigation.

If you are unsure about any other similar drinks, or suspect that the drink is contaminated, please contact the shop where the product was purchased. In case of doubt, please contact your local enforcement authority (your local council Environmental Health or Trading Standards services). Find your local enforcement authority.

There is no risk in handling the bottles if they remain sealed.

Actions to be taken by local authorities

Local authorities are requested to make contact with the relevant outlets selling Caribbean products in their area. If the implicated product is found, enforcement officers should ensure that the product is withdrawn from sale and retained, if necessary using powers available to them under the Food Safety Act 1990. The FSA should be notified for further advice.

Local authorities should report any finding of the implicated product and any traceability information by emailing the FSA's dedicated Food Incidents mailbox: foodincidents@foodstandards.gsi.gov.uk.