Turns out, a name like “Death Wish” can really backfire under certain circumstances: The “world’s strongest” coffee that notoriously markets its blend of joe as risky enough to require a warning label has had to recall bottles of its Nitro Cold Brew from stores because there’s a chance that they’ll give customers botulism. For those slow to appreciate A-grade irony, botulism is an illness the WHO describes as “rare” but “potentially fatal.” Just earlier this year, the botulinum toxin got into the nachos at a California gas station, killed a man, and hospitalized about ten others.
An “important safety notice” has been posted on Death Wish’s website. Scientists at Cornell were apparently asked to test the nitro-infusion process’s effects on “stability” and “safety,” and regretfully they had to inform the company that what they were doing “wasn’t perfect.” The note explains:
Death Wish has undergone a rigorous, lengthy process with an independent process authority to test the shelf life, stability, and safety of the Nitro Cold Brew coffee … [T]o ensure industry-leading safety of Death Wish’s cold brew products, a recommendation has been made to add a further step in the manufacturing process behind the Nitro Cold Brew.
Now, Death Wish is not saying that Nitro Cold Brew has given anybody botulism yet — this recall is merely “precautionary.” The company goes on to note that nitro coffee is a pretty new thing, and the FDA is behind on issuing federal standards and regulations, so right now, it’s sort of the Wild West out there. Because of reduced-oxygen packaging, Death Wish points out that a “remote” risk of botulinum exists with “any nitrogen-based product on the market.” Purchasers have been asked to “please dispose” of tainted cans, and the company says it’s “having a recall party” soon, where everybody who bought one will get a refund.