‘Death Wish Coffee’ Recalled Due To Risk of Deadly Toxin

Order of Death Wish Coffee ready to be shipped. Photo captured by Michael P. Farrel / Times Union

          Ironically, the aptly named Death Wish Coffee Company has come into the spotlight recently due to a recall of cold brew cans. The reason? Their nitro drinks may potentially contain deadly toxins.

          But what is Death Wish Coffee? In short, they’re an upstate New York Company that began with humble origins as a local java shop in Saratoga Springs. According to their site, the establishment’s founder needed a strong drink to serve to the ‘groggy morning customers.’ Now the business prides itself as the distributor of the “World’s Strongest Coffee.” How strong? Well, according to CaffeineInformer.com, a 12  fl. ounce cup of the blend contains 728 mg of caffeine, reaching ‘Dangerous’ levels. That’s 5-7x more caffeine than the average cup of joe, as specified in another post from the same site.

          That’s a lot of caffeine, so you can pretty easily see why they go by their name. But, surprisingly, it isn’t the comically high amounts of caffeine that triggered the recall. The United States Food and Drug administration is issuing the call back due to a slight possibility of a toxin that can cause botulism. The toxin, identified as Clostridium botulinum, was spotted in a test performed by various labs at Cornell University. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), botulism poisoning attacks the nervous system and may cause muscle weakness and difficulty breathing – potentially leading to fatalities. So far there haven’t been any cases of illness reported.

          Death Wish Coffee Co. released a statement on their website regarding the situation:

          “Our customer’s safety is of paramount importance and Death Wish Coffee is taking this significant, proactive step to ensure that the highest quality, safest, and of course, strongest coffee products we produce are of industry-exceeding standards – thus we are taking this measure of recalling all Death Wish Nitro cans from shelves.” – Mike Brown, owner of Death Wish Coffee.


Operation’s Manager John Swedish (left) and company founder Mike Brown (right) pose in their new facility. Photo courtesy of Robert Downen / Times Union.

        Death Wish Coffee is available for purchase at local and independent retailers. The nitro cold brews have been pulled completely from store shelves and their online shop. Any customer who has purchased it has been urged to either dispose of or return the product to the their local retailers with proof of purchase for a full refund. Also, anyone who has purchased the product directly from their online store will receive a full refund within 60 days.

          In the end, it seems they did the right thing. People can point out that they’re recalling to save themselves from lawsuits but it shouldn’t matter, as what they’re doing is responsible business practice. They found a problem, then informed the public and initiated a recall before anyone was hurt. What they’re doing is a precautionary step while they solve the matter, reportedly stemming from an issue in the brewing process. The Death Wish Coffee Co. is defusing the situation well, and it doesn’t seem like anyone will be in a ‘latte’ trouble. Thanks for reading.

Works Cited: Syracuse.com, ABC7Chicago.com, DeathWishCoffee.com

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