The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has become the latest authority to warn about a problem related to Prime energy drinks.
The issue in the United Kingdom is imported Prime Hydration and Prime Energy drinks, which are not intended for the UK market.
The FSA has also been informed of reports of Prime-labeled chocolate bars in the UK. Prime does not manufacture or supply any items except for beverages.
Prime Hydration and Prime Energy manufactured for the U.S. market have been found on sale in the UK and are not compliant with domestic legislation. These have FL OZ on the front. The problem does not affect Prime-branded drinks made specifically for the UK market. These bottles have 500 mL on the front label.
Drink and chocolate problem
Examples of issues include incorrectly citing coconut as a tree nut allergen and the absence of the business name and address of the importer on the label, said the FSA.
Some U.S. Prime products contain zinc aspartate, which is not in the ingredients list of the UK product. Zinc aspartate is not a permitted food additive and is not in EU regulation as a mineral substance that may be added to foods.
The other problem is Prime-labeled chocolate bars, which a Prime-brand manufacturer has not made.
Examples of non-compliance are failure to provide an ingredient list, including allergen information on the label; no business name or address on the packaging; and the rewrapping of shop-bought chocolate in Prime branded wrappers, in potentially unhygienic conditions, said the FSA.
In 2022, the FSA warned people not to buy or eat counterfeit Wonka Bars sold in shops and online nationwide. Some fake bars contained allergens that weren’t listed on the label.
Previous issues flagged
Other countries have raised concerns about Prime brand products or other energy drinks due to levels of caffeine and labeling issues.
Earlier this year, U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer called on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to investigate Prime and its energy drink for claims, marketing, and caffeine content. A 12-ounce can of Prime Energy contains 200 milligrams of caffeine.
An ongoing investigation in Canada has prompted several recalls, mainly because products were not manufactured or intended for sale in Canada and have been imported and sold there. Consumers may have also purchased the products online. In Canada, energy drinks must not contain more than 180 milligrams of caffeine in a single serving. Caffeinated energy drinks were recalled for too much caffeine and improper labeling, such as missing cautionary statements.
Authorities in Slovenia issued a warning this past week after controls found a Prime product containing an ingredient not allowed in soft drinks in Europe.
The Administration for Food Safety, Veterinary Sector, and Plant Protection (UVHVVR) and the Ministry of Health asked the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) to do a risk assessment.
Analysis of the drink revealed L-theanine, which is not permitted in soft drinks in the EU but can be used in other foods. Several importers and distributors were identified, and documentation was reviewed. A temporary ban was put on beverages that lacked information in Slovenian.
Authorities in Norway and Denmark have previously warned about Prime-branded drinks.
Some drinks have a higher caffeine content than is permitted under applicable regulations and a high amount of Vitamin A. Certain quantities of vitamins, minerals, and other substances can be added to foods and beverages. If they are not already permitted, the importer must apply for approval, which is then assessed by authorities before a permit may be granted but this had not yet occurred.
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