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Panera's Charged lemonades now have a caffeine warning

A lawsuit was filed last week by the family of a woman who died after drinking the Charged beverage.
Panera's Charged lemonades now have a caffeine warning
Posted at 1:31 PM, Oct 30, 2023

Panera Bread now has a warning on its website about its Charged lemonades, saying they only be consumed "in moderation" while clearly stating the drinks have caffeine.

The warning also says the drinks are "NOT RECOMMENDED FOR children, people sensitive to caffeine, pregnant or nursing women."

The warnings come after the parents of a 21-year-old filed a lawsuit against Panera. The lawsuit claims that consumption of the Charged lemonades led to their daughter's death. 

The legal complaint, filed last week in Philadelphia, says the beverage was advertised as if it were a traditional drink, not a "dangerous energy drink" containing more caffeine than multiple cans of Red Bull and Monster energy drinks.

This failure to warn customers of its content, the lawsuit argues, led to Sarah Katz ingesting the drink on Sept. 10, 2022, unknowingly consuming 390 milligrams of caffeine. 

SEE MORE: McDonald's, Wendy's win federal lawsuit over burger size advertising

According to Panera's nutrition label, a large Mango Yuzu Citrus Charged Lemonade has 390 milligrams of caffeine. By comparison, a large dark roast coffee from Parena has 268 milligrams of caffeine.

A 16-ounce can of a Monster Energy drink has 160 milligrams of caffeine. 

In a statement to NBC News Monday, a Panera spokesperson said, "We were very saddened to learn... about the tragic passing of Sarah Katz, and our hearts go out to her family. At Panera, we strongly believe in transparency around our ingredients. We will work quickly to thoroughly investigate this matter." 

Katz's parents allege Panera is liable and negligent in the beverage's design and manufacturing, and failure to warn about its inherent dangers, particularly those that are cardiac-related.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says 400 milligrams is typically a safe amount of caffeine for healthy adults to consume each day, but that number can be lower to some groups.

"Certain conditions tend to make people more sensitive to caffeine’s effects, as can some medications," the FDA said. In addition, if you’re pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, or are concerned about another condition or medication, we recommend talking to your health care provider about whether you need to limit caffeine consumption."

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