‘Human waste’ found in Coca-Cola cans

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

'Human waste' found in a can at a Coca-Cola plant in Northern Ireland
'Human waste' found in a can at a Coca-Cola plant in Northern Ireland

Related tags Belfast Coca-cola

A Coca-Cola plant in Northern Ireland is being probed by police, after ‘human waste’ was allegedly found in a shipment of cans.

The night shift at the Knockmore Hill, Lisburn plant claimed to have discovered the waste after a container of cans – thought to have come from Germany – clogged up the machines.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said it was investigating reports that the consignment had been contaminated.

“Detectives are investigating an incident at commercial premises in the Lisburn area following reports that a consignment of containers delivered to the premises had been contaminated,”​ said a spokesman for the PSNI.

‘Containers delivered to the premises had been contaminated’

PSNI said the investigation was at an early stage and there were no further details currently available.

A Coca-Cola spokesman said: “We take the safety and quality of our products extremely seriously. We are treating this matter extremely seriously and are conducting a thorough investigation in co-operation with the PSNI. 

“The problem was identified immediately through our robust quality procedures and all of the product from the affected batch was immediately impounded and will not be sold.”

Coca-Cola said this was an isolated incident and none of the affected products had been distributed for sale.

Isolated incident

Empty cans arrive at the plant without their tops on, ready to be filled with the company’s beverages, before being sealed and distributed across Northern Ireland.

This was the first time that the cans came from outside of the UK, according to a source speaking to local publication The Belfast Telegraph.

“It was absolutely horrible and the machines had to be turned off for about 15 hours to be cleaned,” ​the source said. “It was unusual because normally the cans come from somewhere else in the UK, but this time they apparently came from Germany.

The Food Standards Agency said it was aware of the contamination and there was no evidence to suggest that any affected product had reached the market. 

Meanwhile, almost 400kg of cocaine​ – with a reported street value of about €50M (£42M) – was found at a Coca-­Cola factory in Signes, southern France last year.

Staff found sacks of the drug hidden among a delivery of orange juice concentrate from Costa Rica.

Related topics Drinks Hygiene, safety & cleaning

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