Barbadians warned about potentially dangerous 'soft drink'
Barbadian consumers are being asked to be on their guard.
That’s because a “soft drink” believed to have caused the death of at least one person is currently available on local supermarket and shop shelves, says the Barbados Manufacturers Association.
The soft drink is called Cole Cold Pear–D, which is said to be manufactured by S.M. Jaleel & Co Ltd in Trinidad and Tobago.
Police reports coming out of the United Kingdom state that 33–year–old Vincentian-born Joromie Lewis died within hours of drinking a small amount of the fizzy drink which he had brought back with him from a trip to the Caribbean.
Reports further said that tests of the drink found it contained a lethal amount of cocaine which caused Lewis, a Royal Navy veteran, to become ill immediately after trying it and died soon thereafter on December 5.
Executive director of the BMA, Bobbi McKay, upon learning that the product was available in stores in Barbados as well, told Barbados TODAY of her “extreme” concern.
Stating that she was in no way at all affirming that the product available on the island was also contaminated, McKay urged persons to be cautious.
Moreover, the executive revealed to this newspaper yesterday [as we spoke] that she had merchandisers
going to different supermarkets to ascertain where the drinks were obtainable.
“I am very, very concerned. I have to make sure first thing Tuesday morning that I speak to the Ministry of Commerce and the National Standards Institute. I know they have inspectors in Commerce, I’m not sure how we are going to get them out but I will continue making calls because I am concerned,” McKay added, as she noted the BMA did not have any authority to remove the beverages from the shelves.
When Barbados TODAY sought comment from the local distributors at their after hours service number we were met with an abrupt “no comment”.
The Trinidad Express newspaper reported yesterday evening that S.M. Jaleel & Company Ltd, Trinidad, has since issued a voluntary recall of all “Pear D” drinks bearing the code “BB Jan 08 14”. The company, in a media release, stated “it does not export to the United Kingdom and the drink must have entered that country through other means”.
Despite investigations by England’s enforcement authorities, it has not yet been possible to obtain any distribution details for this product.
However, the Food Standards Agency there advised persons who had purchased the product not drink it as it posed a serious risk to health. The agency advised consumers to take the beverage to the nearest police station for further investigation.
SM Jaleel has manufacturing plants around the Caribbean.