Coca-Cola Removes Milk Products From Shelves in Northeast China

Coca-Cola Co. (KO), the world’s largest soft-drink maker, has removed Minute Maid strawberry-flavored pulpy milk beverages from shelves in the northeastern Chinese province of Jilin.

Coca-Cola says the removal is temporary and it is cooperating with Chinese authorities after China News Service reported yesterday that a child died and an adult became ill following consumption of the milk product.

“This case does not involve a product quality issue and government authorities are carrying out detailed investigations,” Joanna Price, a spokeswoman for Coca-Cola, said in an e-mailed statement today. The company reached out to the two affected families, she said by phone today, declining to comment further.

China News Service said in its report that the drink contained pesticide, without giving further details. Coca-Cola found the product safe after checking its production and logistics processes and conducting third-party tests of samples from the same production batch of the beverage, Price said in the statement.

Minute Maid is one of Coca-Cola’s bestselling brands in China, according to researcher Euromonitor International.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephanie Wong in Shanghai at swong139@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bret Okeson at bokeson@bloomberg.net

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