Donated beverage investigated in Jamaican poisoning scare

By Jess Halliday

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Nutrition

A nutritional drink distributed to a poor community in Jamaica is
being blamed by residents for an outbreak of food poisoning, that
has resulted in the deaths of three people.

American company EAS donated 124,000 boxes of its Advant Edge Carb Control drink last month, 864 of which are believed to have been distributed by churches in the Gregory Park area of St Catherine by Christian relief and development agency Food for the Poor.

But since Monday, three people in Gregory Park who are reported to have consumed the drink have died, after showing the symptoms of food poisoning. A fourth is understood to be in hospital.

A spokesperson for EAS said: "We are aware from media reports that there are unexplained deaths on the island, and our condolances go out to the families."

She said that the company sent a seven-strong team of medical, nutrition, quality and safety experts to Jamaica last night, who will be working closely with the authorities.

"There are a lot of details on the situation we still don't know. We expect to learn more throughout the day."

Carb Control products are said to deliver protein and essential vitamins and minerals, without excess carbohydrate. The AdvantEdge range is intended to help build a leaner, healthier body by balancing nutrition and exercise.

Anne Briere of Food for the Poor told that the organization is not prepared to comment on the allegations at present, but that testing and investigation is underway.

The organisation working hard to recall as many of the products as possible.

"All donations are inspected by the Jamaican Ministry of Health,"​ she said.

Food for the Poor distributed products through churches and community organizations in 16 Caribbean and Central American countries. Last year it received donated goods with a value in excess of $550 million.

Briere said that there have never before been any allegations of bad or contaminated product distributed by the organization.

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