Coca-Cola Israel on Tuesday continued its recall of bottles of its flagship products, five days after the company began receiving complaints of a foul odor from bottles with expiration dates in mid and late March 2009.
Coca-Cola Israel has instructed the public to return bottles with these dates, even though it says there is no harm in drinking them. The source of the odor is widely believed to be contaminated carbon dioxide.
Also Tuesday, Coca-Cola Israel released a statement saying "Pursuant to the company's notifications made in recent days about the quality issue resulting from a malfunction at our carbon dioxide supplier, it has come to our attention that defective gas was used in our factory for producing products between the dates of November 17 at 10 pm to November 23 at 5:30 pm.
"Most of the products made between these times were stopped before leaving the factory. In addition to this, from the time the malfunction was discovered, the company has been recalling products that managed to go to market. At this point, negligible amounts of the product are still on the market, if at all."
At a large supermarket in Jerusalem's Romema neighborhood, shelves of Coca-Cola cases remained full and a shelf-stocker said he was not at all familiar with the recall. One shopper, Richard Shovei-Tziyon, a Ramot resident originally from South Africa, said he had heard of the recall and though he doesn't buy Coca-Cola very often he'll "do so even less now."
The media warnings didn't phase "Kiosk Al Haderech" owner Avi, who said that he had cases of Coca-Cola from that date at his kiosk near Jerusalem's Central Bus Station, and had received no complaints from any customers.
Avi also said that no one from Coca-Cola Israel had come by to recall bottles, calling reports that the company would do so "a bunch of media nonsense."
Coca-Cola has asked the public not to consume the following beverages:
* Plastic 1.5-liter Coca-Cola and Diet Coca-Cola bottles with March 17-23, 2010 expiration dates.
* Plastic 1.5-liter Diet Sprite bottles with a March 22, 2010 expiration date.
* Glass 350-ml. Coca-Cola bottles with April 21-22, 2010 expiration dates.
* Coca-Cola cans with a July 21, 2010 expiration date.
* Glass 250-ml. Soda bottles with March 18-19, 2010 expiration dates.
Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.