Panera discontinues allegedly lethal lemonade

Panera Bread is taking its highly caffeinated “Charged Sips” drinks off the menu in Canada and the U.S. While no specific reason was given, it might have something to do with the fact that its Charged Lemonade is blamed in two wrongful death lawsuits for inducing cardiac arrest. 

  • The suits allege the victims had pre-existing heart conditions and consumed the Charged Sips unaware of their caffeine levels. Panera added additional safety warnings — not something you want to see on your lemonade — in October.

Stat line: A large Charged Sip (which is 30 fluid ounces, or ~887 millilitres) contains a pulse-pounding ~390 milligrams of caffeine. For perspective, that’s over double the limit of caffeine that the standard 500-millilitre energy drink sold in Canada is allowed to have.   

Why it matters: Panera’s disavowal of its zippy drinks comes amid broader health concerns about energy drinks. Last summer, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency moved to recall more than 20 energy drinks, including the popular Prime brand, due to unsafe caffeine levels. The recall expanded to over 45 energy drinks to also include products with improper labelling.—QH