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FDA reviews case of student's death after drinking 'charged lemonade'

The FDA said in a statement to NBC News that it was "gathering information" about the tragic incident.
FDA reviews case of student's death after drinking 'charged lemonade'
Posted at 4:13 PM, Oct 25, 2023

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says it's "gathering information" about the case of a student who died after drinking highly caffeinated lemonade from Panera Bread.

Sarah Katz, 21, died in 2022 after drinking Panera's Charged Lemonade, which contains significant amounts of caffeine and other stimulants. 

"The FDA is saddened to hear of the passing of a consumer and as always, takes seriously reports of illnesses or injury from regulated products. At this point, we are gathering information about this event," the FDA said in a statement to NBC News.

The FDA said it monitors the marketplace and takes action where necessary to regulate foods. It said it cooperates with the Federal Trade Commission when it's necessary to address marketing claims. 

The FTC told NBC News it doesn't comment on consumer complaints it receives, and does not confirm or deny investigations under its purview.

SEE MORE: 21-year-old died after drinking Panera Charged Lemonade, lawsuit says

Katz had a heart condition, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday against Panera. The suit alleges Panera failed to warn customers of the risks associated with the caffeinated drink.

According to Panera's nutritional information, a large cup of the drink contains 390 mg of caffeine. For comparison, the FDA says an average 8 ounce cup of coffee may contain between 80 and 100 mg of caffeine.

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