Irish brewer Guinness, which is owned by international beverage giant Diageo, has recalled its non-alcoholic Guinness 0.0 drink in Great Britain over fears of microbiological contamination in some cans, just weeks after the new stout launched in the country.
A Guinness spokesperson said the drink could be “unsafe to consume” and advised customers to dispose of the product or bring it back to where it was purchased. An investigation by the UK Food Standards Agency revealed the product could contain mold, and, while that doesn’t directly cause food poisoning, the agency advises against consuming it, as it could make the product unsafe.
The alleged contamination apparently occurred during the production process in its St. James’s Gate brewery in Dublin, and the company spokesperson noted that the organization is “working hard to investigate and determine the root cause.”
The recall does not include the beer maker’s classic brand of Guinness. “The issue is isolated to Guinness 0.0 and does not impact any other Guinness variants or brands,” the spokesperson says. “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 company is currently partnering with supermarkets and other places that sell the product to remove all of the cans from shelves.
The Guinness 0.0 drink has been in development for more than four years and was the company’s first attempt at a non-alcoholic stout. The label went on sale on October 26, and it took about two weeks before the problem was discovered. All production and canning has been halted for the time being.
In creating its new brew, Guinness explained that the early stages of the brewing process was similar to that of its standard Guinness label, with water, barley, hops, and yeast comprising its main ingredients. The differentiator for Guinness 0.0 is the utilization of cold filtration, which is used to remove the alcohol from the brew. It’s believed that’s where the problem occurred.
To date, no serious illnesses have been reported. A global rollout of Guinness 0.0 is expected in summer 2021.