Panera Phasing Out Controversial Charged Lemonade Nationwide

Panera Phasing Out Controversial Charged Lemonade Nationwide
Panera Phasing Out Controversial Charged Lemonade Nationwide. Credit | Getty images

United States: According to a spokesperson for Panera Bread, the eatery company is discontinuing its largely caffeinated Charged Lemonade, which has been linked in suits to at least two losses.

Product Discontinuation

Following a action brought by the family of 21- time-old Sarah Katz, a University of Pennsylvania pupil with a cardiac problem, who passed away after ingesting Charged Lemonade, the potables caused contestation in October.

The family of Dennis Brown, a Florida man who also died after drinking Charged Lemonade and had a chromosomal deficiency disorder and developmental delay, filed a second case in December.

The 28-year-old Rhode Islander Lauren Skerritt filed a third complaint in January, claiming the beverage caused her to suffer from “permanent cardiac injuries.”

According to a Panera representative, the Charged Lemonade is being discontinued countrywide as a result of a “recent menu transformation.”

Caffeine Content Concerns

“We are focusing next on the broad array of beverages we know our guests desire — ranging from exciting, on-trend flavors to low sugar and low-caffeine options,” the spokesman said. “We listened to more than 30,000 guests about what they wanted from Panera.”

When it came to their Charged Lemonade, Panera used to tout that it was “Plant-based and Clean with as much caffeine as our Dark Roast coffee.” However, the claims claimed that a large, 30-fluid-ounce Charged Lemonade, without ice, has 390 milligrams of caffeine, which is higher than any size of Panera’s dark roast coffee. Since then, Panera has changed the nutrition facts to reflect the amount of caffeine in the Charged Lemonade with ice. The large size Blood Orange Charged Lemonade, for instance, is now listed as containing 302 mg of caffeine.

Response and Legal Stand

The Food and Drug Administration states that 400 mg of caffeine per day is usually safe for healthy individuals to ingest.

Lawsuits and Controversy

In response to the initial lawsuit, which was reported by NBC News and called Charged Lemonade “a dangerous energy drink,” Panera posted more thorough warnings on its website and in all of its locations, advising customers to drink Charged Lemonade in moderation and not to give it to young children, those who are sensitive to caffeine, or women who are pregnant or nursing.

According to a friend, Katz probably didn’t know the beverage included caffeine when she bought it right before she passed away. The October interview with NBC News quoted Victoria Rose Conroy as saying, “She was very, very vigilant about what she needed to do to keep herself safe.” “I swear to God that Sarah would never have touched this with a 10-foot pole if she had known how much caffeine was in it.”

Panera has already sent their condolences to the families of the Katz and Brown. In response to the second lawsuit, the firm released a statement in which it said that it was of the opinion that the customer’s “unfortunate passing was not caused by one of the company’s products” and that it stands behind the menu items’ safety. Regarding the third case, the chain of restaurants remained silent.

Two Panera employees confirmed to NBC News on Monday night that they had received memos earlier in the day from staff above them informing them that their restaurants would no longer be ordering ingredients to make Charged Lemonade. They spoke to NBC News on condition of anonymity because they were afraid of losing their jobs.

Employee Notifications

Two Panera employees shared memos indicating that the Charged Lemonade would be replaced, with one memo specifying the change would occur within two weeks. Despite this, some employees were unaware of the discontinuation, as observed in a New York City restaurant. Attorney Elizabeth Crawford, representing plaintiffs in lawsuits related to the drink, commended Panera’s action as a step towards preventing further harm, emphasizing the importance of removing the product from shelves to prevent future incidents.