March 1, 2024

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Panera now displaying warning about its caffeinated lemonade in all stores after lawsuit over customer’s death

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All Panera Bread restaurants are now displaying “enhanced” disclosures about the restaurant chain’s highly caffeinated lemonade, a spokesperson said Saturday, following a lawsuit that was filed by the family of a young woman who died after drinking the beverage.

Monday’s lawsuit, which was first obtained by NBC News, alleges that Sarah Katz, an Ivy League student with a heart condition, died after she drank Panera’s Charged Lemonade last year.

A large Charged Lemonade contains 390 milligrams — nearly the 400-milligram daily maximum of caffeine that the Food and Drug Administration says healthy adults can safely consume.

The legal complaint called Charged Lemonade a “dangerous energy drink” and argues that Panera failed to adequately warn consumers about its ingredients, which also include guarana extract, another stimulant. The large cup contains more caffeine than standard cans of Red Bull and Monster energy drinks combined, as well as the equivalent of almost 30 teaspoonfuls of sugar.

The caffeine content of Panera’s Charged Lemonade has always been listed in-store, Panera said. But in an exclusive statement to NBC News on Saturday, Panera said all of its stores throughout North America added more detailed disclosures about the beverage in the past several days.

“We were saddened to learn this week about the tragic passing of Sarah Katz. While our investigation is ongoing, out of an abundance of caution, we have enhanced our existing caffeine disclosure for these beverages at our bakery-cafes, on our website and on the Panera app,” a Panera spokesperson said.

The new language states that Charged Lemonade contains caffeine, should be consumed in moderation and is not recommended for children, people sensitive to caffeine, pregnant or nursing women.

Elizabeth Crawford, a partner at the Philadelphia-based law firm Kline & Specter, PC, who is representing Katz’s family, said Saturday that the verbiage does not provide context for the amount of caffeine in the…

2023-10-29 08:26:00

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