Guinness recalls new zero-alcohol drink over contamination fears

·2 min read
Pints of Guinness are seen in a London pub
The brewer urged consumers with cans of Guinness 0.0 not to drink them as a 'microbiological contamination' might mean some products were unsafe. Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Reuters

Guinness has announced a “precautionary” recall of its new zero-alcohol drink, launched only two weeks ago, due to contamination concerns in some cans.

The brewer, owned by drinks giant Diageo (DGE.L), urged consumers with cans of Guinness 0.0 not to drink them as a “microbiological contamination” might mean some products were unsafe. It is currently investigating to determine the root cause.

It added that it was working with outlets that stocked the product to remove it from the shelves.

Guinness said in a statement: “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.

“Guinness 0.0 currently is not on sale to the general public in Ireland. The issue is isolated to Guinness 0.0 and does not impact any other Guinness variants or brands.”

Customers can return products to the place of purchase for a full refund.

The company launched its non-alcoholic version in the UK two weeks ago in supermarkets and off-licences in an attempt to meet growing demand for low-calorie, non-alcoholic alternatives.

It is made in St James’s Gate brewery in Dublin with the same ingredients as the alcoholic version but uses cold filtration, which removes alcohol from the brew. It contains 70 calories per can compared to the traditional at 177 calories.

READ MORE: Alcohol and takeaway sales soar under UK lockdown

It comes after UK shoppers spent £261 more on alcohol in supermarkets and grocery stores in the four weeks to 4 October, as the government’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme came to an end and pubs and bars were hit with a 10pm curfew.

According to the figures from research firm Kantar, total sales rose 10.6% last month, up from 8% the previous month. It was the busiest four week period since shoppers began stockpiling in March.

Watch: Wetherspoons boss blames ‘baffling’ rules as sales slump