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Undeclared aspartame danger: Irn Bru maker strips product off shelves

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Undeclared aspartame danger: Irn Bru maker strips product off shelves

June 30
14:27 2013

Irn Bru maker AG Barr is blaming a labeling error after it withdrew a batch of Barr lemonade containing undeclared aspartame that could be dangerous for anyone with the metabolic disease phenylketonuria.

The UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) announced today that Barr had withdrawn a 500ml batch of the lemonade due to the presence of aspartame (an artificial sweetener used in low calorie drinks).

“This is a potential safety issue for anyone with phenylketonuria (PKU) who are recommended not to consumer aspartame-containing products,” the FSA said in a statement.

Sufferers from rare inherited disease phenylketonuria (PKU) are unable to metabolise amino acid phenylalanine effectively, leading to its accumulation in potentially harmful levels.

PKU can cause serious brain damage

PKU affects 1 in 10000 people, and if left untreated can cause serious brain damage; sufferers must folllow a strict diet to limit phenylalanine intake, and must avoid aspartame, the presence of which must be clearly labeled by law.

An AG Barr spokesperson told BeverageDaily.com that it had withdrawn batch 3083 of Barr Lemonade due to a “labeling error”, where the batch affected has a best before end date of December 2013.

“Following a recent recipe change, the product should have been manufactured with updated labels that include aspartame as an ingredient.  Aspartame is not listed on the label of this single batch,” the spokesperson said.

They added: “The company takes this matter seriously and all steps have been taken to remove the incorrectly labelled bottles from the distribution chain promptly and efficiently. All other batches are unaffected and are correctly labelled.”

 

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