The Sweet Leaf Tea Company is voluntarily pulling 1.5 million bottles of its flavored iced tea from store shelves nationwide after the company received four complaints of glass fragments in the bottles.
According to an ABC News report, the company, which is owned by Nestle Waters North America, said it announced the recall out of an abundance of caution.
The recall includes 16-ounce glass bottles distributed nationwide between February 27 and December 6.
Affected flavors include raspberry, peach, mint, honey, half-and-half lemonade tea, green tea with citrus and the Sweet Leaf Tea original.
So far, no injuries have been reported as a result of the broken glass fragments. According to the company, two complaints came from consumers and two others came from distributors.
A company spokeswoman also said that the glass fragments in the teas were the result of glass breakage during the filling process at a Pennsylvania plant. Sweet Leaf Tea has reported the problem to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and issued the recall.
Officials also said the company has rolled out a more intense observation of the bottling line to prevent such problems in the future.
Contamination During Food Processing
Metal or glass fragments in food items have the potential to cause serious or even deadly injuries to consumers.
In a food production or processing setting, there is the possibility of contamination especially when foods are blended, cut or bottled. Pieces can break lose and get into the food.
In other types of food processing, moving wire mesh belts, screens and metal ties could also become a source of contamination.
Federal food safety regulators require food producers to take every possible measure to prevent such contamination that could potentially injure consumers.
Preventive steps may include more regular monitoring of the equipment and the food and a method to detect fragments that may make their way into the food product.
If You Have Been Injured
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of contaminated food products, you can seek compensation for your injuries and damages by filing a product liability claim against the manufacturer.
Injured victims can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, surgery, permanent injuries, pain and suffering and emotional distress.
Injured victims would also be well advised to contact an experienced California personal injury lawyer who will fight for their rights and ensure that the negligent parties are held accountable.