Approximately 1.5 million bottles of iced tea are being voluntarily recalled by Sweet Leaf Tea Company. Nestle Waters, who owns Sweet Leaf, is quickly removing the iced tea from store shelves and warning customers that broken glass may be contained in some products.
After four customers found broken glass in their iced tea bottles, Sweet Leaf issued the recall “out of an abundance of caution.” There have been no injuries reported thus far.
“This was the result of glass breakage during the filling process. Consumers could potentially be cut or injured if ingested,” stated a company press release.
We have voluntarily issued a recall of some of our 16-oz glass bottles. More details here: https://t.co/kJWbprU69t— Sweet Leaf Tea (@SweetLeafTea) December 10, 2015
The six iced tea flavors affected by the recall include Sweet Leaf Original, Raspberry, Half & Half Lemonade Tea, Green Tea with Citrus, Peach, and Mint & Honey. Sixteen-ounce glass bottles sold between February 27 and December 6 are possibly contaminated. Plastic bottle products are not included in the recall.
To determine if the product is included, Sweet Leaf customers are encouraged to check the manufacturing code on either the iced tea bottle or on the case.
The complete list of recalled Sweet Leaf iced tea products with code numbers is available on the company’s website. Consumers can return any potentially tainted bottles to the store or contact customer service directly at 1-877-832-5323 to request a refund or replacement.
Sweet Leaf Tea Company Is Not Alone
Another broken glass scare happened earlier this year to a popular drink product. In early September, nine flavors of Smirnoff Ice in Canada were possibly contaminated with glass fragments. The company issued a voluntary recall due to “quality issues” with its glass bottle supplier.
The products recalled were 330 ml glass bottles sold individually and in packs of four and 12. Smirnoff removed the drinks from store shelves in early September and asked customers who purchased the drinks on or after July 24 to dispose of them or return them to the store.
At the time, Diageo Canada, Smirnoff’s parent company, said less than 1 percent of products were affected and no injuries were reported.
Although not recalled because of broken glass, other big companies have been subject to massive recalls this year.
After several people in four western states became ill, Costco Wholesale issued a massive nationwide recall of its rotisserie chicken salad in November. After eating the salad, 19 people reported symptoms of an E. coli infection. Of the 19, five were hospitalized and two were subsequently diagnosed with kidney failure.
After an investigation and testing by health authorities, the celery mix used in the product was found to be contaminated with a strain of E. coli known as 0157:H7.
The vegetable blend was traced back to Taylor Farms Pacific, a major supplier to companies like Costco, Target, and Starbucks. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Taylor issued a recall of several packaged vegetable blends, and major retailers pulled over 155,000 products from shelves.
Health officials, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, involved in the recall are still investigating the final source of the E. coli bacteria.
Texas-based Sweet Leaf Tea produces ready-to-drink organic teas and lemonades. The company was founded in 1998 by Clayton Christopher and David Smith.
The tea brewer experienced substantial growth as consumer tastes shifted from high-sugar, high-calorie soft drinks to more natural, good-for-you drinks. Sweet Leaf Tea Company was purchased by Nestle Waters in 2010 for an undisclosed price.
Over the years, Sweet Leaf has built a strong reputation for making a quality product with natural ingredients and has acquired a loyal customer base. The recall issued by the company does not have to do with contaminated ingredients, but accidentally ingesting broken glass could scare some buyers away.
Whether or not the 2015 iced tea recall will affect the company’s overall sales and character is yet to be seen.
[Photo by Donald Bowers/Getty Images for Sweet Tea Leaf]