Panera Ceases Sales of ‘Charged Sips’ Drinks Amid Lawsuits

Panera Bread has announced that it will discontinue its Charged Sips drinks following two wrongful death lawsuits linked to their high caffeine content.

The decision comes after Panera faced legal action from families who alleged that the drinks contributed to the deaths of their loved ones. Sarah Katz, a 21-year-old University of Pennsylvania student, passed away in September 2022 after consuming a Charged Lemonade.

Similarly, David Brown, a 46-year-old man from Florida, suffered cardiac arrest and died in October after drinking multiple Charged Lemonades.

The fruit-flavored Charged Sips beverages, introduced by the St. Louis-based company in spring 2022, contained significant amounts of caffeine, ranging from 155 to 302 milligrams per serving. This caffeine content exceeded that of a typical cup of coffee and was comparable to energy drinks like Monster Energy.

Panera has not explicitly stated whether the discontinuation of Charged Sips is directly related to the lawsuits or due to health concerns. However, the company has acknowledged the feedback from customers and is planning to introduce new drinks with lower sugar and caffeine levels.

The online menu now includes a disclaimer advising consumers to drink the beverages in moderation, especially cautioning against consumption by children, individuals sensitive to caffeine, and pregnant or nursing women. The timing of this addition to the menu remains unclear.

Panera’s decision reflects a growing awareness of the potential risks associated with high-caffeine beverages and underscores the importance of prioritizing consumer safety in the food and beverage industry.

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