Newly launched non-alcoholic stout Guinness 0.0 recalled over contamination fears

UK – British multinational alcohol beverage company, Diageo has made a decision to recall all of its newly launched non-alcoholic stout because of “microbiological contamination”.

The recall is coming only two weeks after the product was launched by the British manufacturer across stores in the UK.

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Diageo through its subsidiary Guinness warned that cans of the new Guinness 0.0 drink, which took four years to develop, may be “unsafe to consume”.

Guinness has since advised people who had purchased the alcohol-free beer to dispose of it or return it to where it was bought.

The contamination is understood to have occurred during the production process at its St James’s Gate brewery in Dublin and tests are being carried out to establish the cause.

In the meantime, production and canning of the new product that takes after similar brands such as Heinken’s 0.0 has been halted.

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 “As a precautionary measure we are recalling Guinness 0.0 in Great Britain because of a microbiological contamination which may make some cans of Guinness 0.0 unsafe to consume,”a Guinness spokesperson said.

The spokesperson further explained that the issue is isolated to Guinness 0.0 and does not impact any other Guinness variants or brands.

“If you have bought Guinness 0.0 do not consume it. Instead, please return the product to your point of purchase for a full refund. We are sorry that this has happened,” the spokesperson added.

The spokesperson said that as a new product there were relatively few cans on the market.

She however did not reveal the exact number of cans that the company expects to recall.

Guinness 0.0 went on sale at the end of October in 4x440ml can packs in off-licences and in Waitrose and Morrisons supermarkets, with plans for it to be rolled out to other retailers.

The product was due to become available on draught in pubs next spring and to be launched in other parts of the world later in 2021.

The new drink was launched to tap into consumers’ growing appetite for no- and low-alcohol options.

Even before lockdown, an increasing number of brewers were offering more no- and low-alcohol alternatives.

Among the pioneers of 0.0 alcohol is Heineken having launched its Heineken 0.0 brand in 2017 in Netherlands and Germany.

The drink was later rolled out in other markets such as France and England and has since received a huge patronage among health-conscious consumers.

Covid-related restrictions however increased consumers’ thirst for hangover-free options as drinking habits have become home-based.

Low alcohol products are also becoming popular as consumers want products that keep them healthy and less susceptible to diseases during the pandemic.

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