Croatia’s prime minister has said only one of the reported 30-plus cases of injury after consuming drinks is linked to the beverages.
Over the course of last weekend, a member of the public in the Adriatic town of Rijeka reportedly suffered a throat injury after consuming a Coca-Cola-owned water beverage.
Following that incident, several additional cases across Croatia were reported and the state health inspector ordered Coca-Cola HBC to withdraw products due to the number of public health incidents.
Yesterday (9 November), Croatia’s Prime Minster Andrej Pleković took to social media to alleviate fears in the country. “So far, one case with serious consequences has been recorded in Rijeka, and the patient is receiving health care. In a large number of reported cases, it is shown that it is not a question of health problems due to the consumption of drinks. Therefore, there is no need to panic,” Pleković wrote.
Coca-Cola HBC has withdrawn batches of Coca-Cola Original Taste 500ml, as well as two limited batches of Romerquelle Emotion Blueberry Pomegranate 330ml.
In a statement, the company said: “After comprehensive testing of multiple products, the Croatian Ministry of Interior said it had identified one isolated incident in Rijeka related to a single bottle of Romerquelle Emotion Blueberry Pomegranate.
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“We welcome the clarity that the test results will bring for our consumers and customers in Croatia after the uncertainty of the last few days and our thoughts remain with the individual affected.”
The Croatian state inspector has revealed all samples of Coca-Cola Original taste and Romerquelle taken during the initial reports of illness from across Croatia have been tested and found to be safe.
Krunoslav Capak, director-general of the Croatian Institute of Public Health said of the initial samples taken they “do not show any deviations from normal values and there is certainly nothing in them that could cause such injuries”.
He added: “There is a lot of strange information and things that happened. I hope that as soon as we have the results of the police investigation, we will have answers. Sabotage is also possible. In history, we have had cases of accidental poisoning. There were attempts to poison milk in stores. I can’t say anything specific about this case yet because we don’t have the results.”
It has been reported that all individuals who were affected by the potentially contaminated beverages have been given medical treatment and there appear to have been no fatalities.