Heineken recalls 1.2m bottles

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Heineken recalls 1.2m bottles

By Lucy Killgren - 15 Feb 2000 13:47GMT

Heineken, the world's second largest brewer, has recalled 1.2m beer bottles in Holland after reports of contamination. The recall came after two consumers complained they had found detergent in their bottles.

A spokesman for Heineken said: "The problem is restricted to returnable bottles which are only available in the Dutch market. These are the only ones in contact with detergent. We have started an investigation into two complaints from customers in different parts of Holland."

The withdrawal is the latest in a series of recall crises to hit drinks companies in Europe.

In June last year, Coca-Cola was forced to withdraw millions of cans of branded drinks in Belgium and France after consumers complained of stomach ache and nausea. The company's tardy response was widely criticised and the crisis contributed to a second quarter earnings drop of 21 per cent.

In September, Anheuser-Busch, the world's largest brewer, recalled 5.8m bottles of Budweiser in 12 European countries after consumers claimed to have found glass shards in their beer. In this case, a swift response helped minimise theimpact.

Deborah Pretty, a research fellow at Templeton College in Oxford who specialises in finance and risk management said: "How Heineken handle this will be critical. This situation gives the company's management a chance to demonstrate their talent or otherwise. It also gives investors a whole load of additional information about management that they would not ordinarily have."

Shares appeared unaffected in morning trading, up 2.6% at E48 at midday GMT.

-- Jim McAteer (jim_mcateer@hotmail.com), February 15, 2000


Reporting from Amsderdam: I drank two six packs of Heineken last night. I feel great except for the soap bubbles emerging from my nose. Ja.

-- (ohno@mr.bill), February 15, 2000.

Why they call beer suds.

-- Mara (MaraWayne@aol.com), February 15, 2000.

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