Hundreds of fake ketchup bottles were discovered exploded in a warehouse in Dover, New Jersey by officials after residents complained about flies and smell coming from a warehouse.
Shine reports the fake ketchup factory contained hundreds of bottles labeled Simply Heinz, a higher end ketchup product made with real cane sugar. In reality, the bottles were full of regular Heinz ketchup, made with high fructose corn syrup. The bottles exploded because they appeared to be abandoned in the hot warehouse.
Good Morning America reports that a 32 oz. bottle of Simply Heinz Ketchup and a 36 oz. bottle of Heinz Ketchup each have a suggested retail price of $2.99. Heinz officials report that it is unlikely that any of the counterfeit ketchup made it to retailer’s shelves.
“We have not discovered any information that leads us to believe that the illegally repackaged product is on the market. However, you can reach out to your store manager to confirm the product was purchased from Heinz,” Heinz representatives told Shine. “We can assure you that product purchased directly from us is authentic and safe to purchase and consume. Our quality assurance systems also ensure traceability to the factories where Heinz Ketchup is manufactured and packaged.”
Good Morning America received a similar statement from spokeswoman Jessica Jackson, who added that Heinz is working to get to the bottom of what happened.
“Based on our preliminary investigation, it appears that the unauthorized operation purchased traditional Heinz ketchup and then repackaged the product illegally,” she said.
Officials were called to investigate the scene when neighbors reported rotten smells coming from 7,000-square-foot warehouse. When a sugary liquid is left unattended in a hot space in a sealed bottle, it can ferment and explode, and that’s exactly what happened with the counterfeit ketchup.