On Tuesday, Croatian media reported about a young man from Rijeka who had severe burns to his esophagus after drinking mineral water from the Austrian brand Romerquel.
Two other people are currently being treated in hospitals for suspected poisoning. There are also other victims across the country with mild symptoms such as pain and redness in the mouth and esophagus. More serious tissue injuries were found in four of the 34 affected people. Most of the suspected cases occurred in Rijeka and Zagreb.
Manufacturer Coca-Cola temporarily removed 150,000 suspect products from circulation on Wednesday following an order from the state supervisory authority.
As the company told the media, it was a batch of Coca-Cola Original flavor in a 330 ml glass bottle and two limited series of Romerquel “Emotion Blueberry-Pomegranate”. The drink in question is not available on the Austrian market.
The samples tested so far do not have excessive acidity or metal concentrations that could cause pain in the mouth, esophagus or stomach. The Croatian State Inspectorate reported this on Thursday. Coca-Cola samples from Zagreb were also declared harmless.
However, the actual bottles from which the affected people drank have not yet been investigated. They are currently being investigated by the Center for Forensic Investigation of the Croatian Ministry of the Interior.