LONDON – Unilever PLC is recalling 10 million cans of its Slim-Fast ready-to-drink products in the U.S. and Canada due to the possible contamination of a bacteria that can make people sick, a spokeswoman said Sunday.
The spokeswoman, speaking by telephone from New Jersey, said there is no immediately available figure on the cost of the recall, how long it would take or how much in revenue the product contributes to Unilever's total sales.
The spokeswoman stressed that the recall affects only the Slim-Fast line of ready-to-drink can products and not those that come in powder or snack-bar form.
She said she doesn't have immediate information on whether customers have started calling Unilever's hotline number since the company announced the recall Thursday. She added that she couldn't comment on whether the company will compensate customers but said "the probability of serious, adverse consequences is remote."
On Thursday, Unilever's U.S. office said the recall is "due to the possibility of contamination with Bacillus cereus, a micro-organism, which may cause diarrhea and possibly nausea and/or vomiting."
"Out of an abundance of caution, the company is recalling all ready-to-drink products in cans that are currently in distribution centers, on-shelf or in back rooms in retail outlets or in consumers' homes," it said in a statement.
The ready-to-drink products are packaged in cartons and contain four, six or 12 cans containing 11 fluid ounces each. Individual cans are also sold in certain retail outlets.
The Unilever spokeswoman said buyers of the product should discard them and contact the company for a full refund.