Photo: Dover Police
Someone was allegedly trying to counterfeit Heinz Tomato Ketchup inside a privately owned 7,000 square foot warehouse in New Jersey, reports Dan Goldberg at The Star-Ledger.Officials from Heinz believe that the scheme involved buying traditional Heinz Ketchup in large bladders, then transferring it into individual bottles with the premium “Simply Heinz” label.
“Simply Heinz” is made with sugar instead of high fructose corn sweetener, and sells at a higher price than traditional Heinz.
Heinz says the scheme didn’t get very far, and that it only produced a “small quantity of bottles.”
Chris Morran at the Consumerist points out that since Heinz is downplaying the incident, the company likely believes that the scam never left the warehouse.
That’s important, since there may be health risks. Rutgers food science professor Don Schaffner explains to the Star-Ledger:
“If you’re opening ketchup containers and pouring ketchup into other bottles, God knows what you’re diluting it with … Ketchup is thick, so it’s possible you would not use a food-grade ingredient to replicate that texture. I can’t begin to imagine how bad it could be.”
Heinz is working with the FDA’s criminal investigation folks to figure out exactly what happened.
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