SARAJEVO (Reuters) – Croatia’s state inspection office on Thursday said an analysis of Coca Cola soft drinks consumed by individuals who subsequently reported health problems has shown they were safe.
The Croatian authorities earlier this week banned the sale of some Coca Cola-branded beverages and a batch of Romerquelle Emotion Blueberry Pomegranate drink after a series of reported health incidents related to their consumption.
An internal analysis by the local arm of Coca Cola HBC, which distributes Coca Cola products, did not find any irregularities in either product.
The state inspectorate on Thursday said its analysis had shown the acidity found in the drinks was not capable of causing symptoms of digestive disruptions, and that all other parameters were within acceptable values.
“We welcome the clarity that the test results will bring for our consumers and customers after the uncertainty of the last few days,” Coca Cola HBC said in a statement on Thursday.
At the weekend, a man in the Adriatic town of Rijeka was hospitalised with digestive injuries after consuming a Romerquelle Emotion drink.
In the following days, dozens of people across Croatia reported health problems after consuming Coca Cola drinks, but medical examinations failed to find injuries.
A police forensic analysis of the drink consumed in Rijeka detected “some kind of washing or degreasing detergent”, the police said.
Health Minister Vili Beros said the circumstances of the case would be determined “based on the criminal proceeding that is underway”.
He said what happened in Rijeka could be seen either as an intentional or unintentional mistake, while most other reports of similar symptoms were likely the result of panic or other factors.
(Reporting by Daria Sito-Sucic; Editing by Jan Harvey)
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