Counterfeit Nescafe Gold coffee found in Germany

Counterfeit copies of Nestle's Nescafe Gold brand of instant coffee have been found on sale in Germany, and may contain broken glass or plastic.

The fakes were reported by Nestle Deutschland, which said it had discovered counterfeits of what appears to be an old style of Nescafe Gold jar, which is no longer commercially available and has not been used for years.

The counterfeits were neither manufactured nor distributed by Nestle, according to the company, and were discovered mainly at markets and smaller shops. The outlets have been asked to stop selling the illegal products, and Nestle has also asked the authorities to look into the fraud.

"We are shocked by the criminal activities and deeply condemn the fact that our brand has been illegally counterfeited and marketed," said the company in a statement. "The quality and safety of our products are our top priority."

The counterfeit jars (main picture) have an EAN code of 405500210900, the batch number 60820814B1 9:15 and a best before date of 10-21. The current packaging of Nescafe Gold appears alongside.

There's no indication how many jars of the knock-off instant coffee may be in circulation, but there have also been reports of counterfeit jars reaching the Netherlands. Consumers who have purchased a counterfeit are advised to inform the police and stop consuming the coffee.

A recent alert by the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority said that "because the contaminants are larger than 7 mm, which can get stuck in the pharynx when drinking the instant coffee, this batch has been designated as a harmful product and has since been withdrawn from the market."

The incident serves as a reminder that counterfeit food products can make their way into the supply chain of even highly regulated markets.

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