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Hartwall recalls beer-filled Pepsi Max cans

Drinks firm Hartwall has recalled Pepsi Max cans from stores across Finland after it emerged that some of them had been filled with beer by accident. The mistake was uncovered when a child in Lahti opened a can and complained that it tasted ‘strange’.

Pepsi Max -tölkkejä Karjala-tölkkien takana.
Some customers got a surprise when they bought what they thought was Pepsi Max. Image: Mikael Kiskola / Yle

Pepsi Max cans in Finnish stores were found to contain beer after a mix-up at the factory, Hartwall announced on Wednesday. The company is recalling the affected cans immediately and advises consumers affected by the problem to return their Pepsi Max to the shop.

The problem was uncovered by a man in Lahti who purchased what he thought was Pepsi max from the Holma Prisma store. His child then tasted the beverage, but said it tasted weird, and the man then discovered that it contained beer rather than cola.

The case was reported first by Etelä-Suomen Sanomat.

Hartwall says that it has received complaints from two other customers about Pepsi Max purchases, including one where the consumer had purchased cans from the same shop in Lahti.


Hartwall’s communications director declined to estimate how many beer-filled Pepsi cans her company had put on the shelves of Finnish stores. The company’s statement says that the mixup happened when a production line switched from pepsi production to beer before all the Pepsi Max cans were used up.

The statement says that the Pepsi Max cans that did contain beer were then placed in six-pack packaging marked as Karjala beer.

"This is a really serious thing," said Communications Director Taina Lampela-Helin. "There shouldn’t be any immediate risk to anyone’s life, but drinking isn’t good for anyone’s health either. If a customer tastes the product, they will quickly realise that this isn’t the product they normally enjoy."

Consumers can find the product numbers of the affected cans here.

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