The dangers of product packaging and quality control were highlighted again this week when a bar manager ended up in hospital for treatment following an incident with an exploding can.
Julian Alphonso, bar manager at Melbourne cocktail bar and popular craft beer destination Loop Roof, was restocking fridges with Kaiju Golden Axe Cider yesterday afternoon when a can exploded, cutting his hand, requiring a visit to the emergency room.
Alphonso told Brews News that the injury was treated and was not serious.
Brews News spoke with Kaiju’s Callum Reeves shortly after the accident occurred who advised they were treating the matter seriously.
“We’ve shared this on our social channels and will initiate contact with the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services as soon as they are open this morning,” he said.
“We think we’ve isolated the batch, we know who we’ve sold it to, and if we need to escalate we will but we will also be seeking relevant advice on all this as well.
“This is an older batch of the cider – we haven’t had it in stock for a little while.
“Our task now is finding out where that stock is and making sure we get it all back.”
Reeves said that Kaiju’s aim is to ensure the public is as informed as possible as early as possible.
This makes for the third product fault this month, following product recalls by two Western Australian breweries.
Reeves told Brews News that Golden Axe is not pasteurised but said that the Melbourne brewery is in the process of purchasing a Velcorin unit, which would alleviate the need to heat pasteurise.
Velcorin, or dimethyl carbonate, is a microbial control agent commonly used in the drinks industry to project against typical micro-organisms such as yeast, bacteria and mould. Once added to a beverage, Velcorin breaks down into methanol and carbon dioxide.
Packaging issues are a growing concern in the industry, with the number of anecdotal reports from retail increasing, including a number of retailers expressing concern about the risk of injury from exploding packaging.
Newstead suffered an incident late last year when a batch of its Johnno Apple Cider refermented in pack, after which Newstead indicated it intended to pasteurise all subsequent batches.
Lawyer Amelia Edwards, a Senior Associate at KHQ Lawyers told Brews News that in cases of serious injury, breweries must report the incident to the ACCC within 48 hours.
She says that risks to health and safety and personal injury are the two main areas government regulators look to when considering a product recall.
Kaiju issued a statement on Facebook yesterday evening.