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Energy drink Red Bull found ‘unsafe’

11,August, 2016

Meerut: With caffeine levels higher than the permissible limit found in a sample of energy drink Red Bull, a team of Food Safety and Drugs Administration (FSDA) based in Meerut declared the drink "unsafe" for consumption. The team had taken a sample of the drink from Best Price store, owned by Walmart India, six months ago and the laboratory report, which arrived on Tuesday, found the drink "unsafe".

The FSDA team has seized the entire stock of Red Bull from the store, numbering 1,572 cans, including 972 cans of 250 ml capacity each and 600 cans of 350 ml capacity each, on Tuesday afternoon.

"We had collected a sample of Red Bull from Best Price shop in Meerut six months ago and sent it to the Lucknow laboratory for checking, where it was found ‘misbranded’ and ‘misleading’. The report was challenged by Red Bull and samples were further sent to the Kolkata laboratory – the referral lab. The report that arrived on Tuesday from Kolkata found that besides ‘misbranding’ and ‘misleading’, the caffeine levels in the drink were higher than the permissible limits and was thus declared as ‘unsafe’," said JP Singh, chief food safety officer.

The Food Safety and Standards (Food Products and Food Additive) Regulations, 2011, allows a limit of 145 parts per million (ppm) of caffeine in carbonated beverages, but ‘energy’ drink manufacturers have a cap of 320 ppm. The lab test of Red Bull samples found 382 ppm caffeine in the drink.

"We have seized 972 cans of 250 ml capacity each and 600 cans of 350 ml capacity each worth Rs 1.83 lakh from Best Price store. Also, two samples each of the 250 ml can and 350 ml can have been sent to the Lucknow-based laboratory again. We will intensify our drive and seize the entire stock of the drink from Meerut district," said Singh.

Meanwhile, another sample of Red Bull can was collected from Easy Day outlet on Garh Road.

Red Bull, in an official statement to TOI, said, "Red Bull energy drink is in compliance with all local food safety regulation standards. It is available in more than 166 countries and fully complies with regulations from the authorities in India and wherever it is on sale."

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