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Boy’s accident in Colchester cost Britvic £25million
A NEW cap design on a children’s drink bottle made little Alexander Farries choke – and cost Britvic millions.
Shocked mum Shelley Farries said Alexander, six, began gasping for air as he drank a Robinsons Fruit Shoot.
Shelley, husband Paul and boys Matthew, three, and ten-week-old Christian, were in the restaurant at Colchester’s Leisure World when the drama unfolded.
A piece of the spill-proof Magicap had come off and lodged in Alexander’s throat.
Child minder Shelley, who is first-aid trained, said: “We had taken the boys swimming for a birthday treat and afterwards we went upstairs to the restaurant.
“We bought some Fruit Shoots to go with the food. Alexander and Matthew were drinking them, then Alexander started choking.
“I realised what was going on and slapped him on the back and out it popped.”
Shelley, 35, from Elmstead Market, said she e-mailed the Chelmsford-based drinks company a picture of the bottle and cap she had taken on her mobile phone.
Two days later, the company sent a courier to collect the bottle and told Shelley it had been faulty.
Shelley said: “By Sunday night they agreed to take the product out of the shops.
“On the Monday they decided to take their other lines off the shelves as a precaution.”
Britvic has given the family a theme park annual day pass and drinks vouchers.
The drinks firm, which owns the Robinsons brand, has recalled millions of Fruit Shoot and Fruit Shoot Hydro bottles.
At the time it refused to blame anything other than a packaging safety issue.
The damage will reportedly wipe up to £25million from profits this year and the next financial year.
A Britvic spokesman said: “The safety of our customers is our number one priority and we are grateful to Mrs Farries for bringing her situation to our attention.
“We have recalled Fruit Shoot bottles featuring the new design cap and are working hard to get Fruit Shoot back on the shelves.
“We apologise to her and all our customers for the inconvenience caused.”