Foreign Object In Bottled Beverage Causes Severe Injury

    Quality Assurance ExpertThis case involves a group of young adults who drank a bottle of wine which contained a metallic foreign object. One of the members of the group ended up with a foreign object lodged in her throat for several hours. She required immediate medical attention as well as a surgical procedure to remove the object. An expert familiar with the protocol for bottling and canning beverages was sought to discuss industry policies and procedures to ensure safe and adequate packaging.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. Please explain your expertise pertaining to beverage bottling and canning.
    • 2. Are there specific standards and/or safety measures which must be taken to ensure no foreign objects find their way into a canned or bottled beverage?

    Expert Witness Response E-011802

    I am a food and beverage industry expert. I have a Ph.D. in food sciences and have a reviewed a number of cases regarding safety and quality assurance systems. I am well qualified to speak to proper supply chain management systems for beverage bottling. I have previously worked for a winery where my evaluation started with growing the grapes, harvesting, them, conversion to wine, and filling and sealing the wine bottles – in addition to the actual bottle manufacturing department. Recently, I developed a line of protein energy drinks for a group of doctors which included finding the best pasteurization and bottle and can-filling processors. For liquids like juices, wine, and beer, an inline metal detector could be used prior to the actual canning and lidding steps. I worked on a similar case where a leading poultry manufacturer failed to detect metal in a finished product and it ended in the consumer’s throat.

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