In a lawsuit filed at the end of March in Washington, Vitaliy Sulzhik claimed that he found a mouse at the bottom of a can of Monster Energy. Sulzhik alleged he came across a tail and the debris of a mouse when finishing off the can.
In a rebuttal, published on Friday, Hansen, which owns the Monster brand, attacked the claim, saying common sense would dictate that if the mouse had entered the can during production then the drink would have been undrinkable from the very first sip.
As Sulzhik said he drank part of the can and then left it in his car for hours, the company said there was amply time for a small mouse to crawl into the can. And Hansen said the species of mouse found in the can is common in rural areas where Sulzhik lives but rarely found in industrial areas where the energy drink was made.
“Virtually impossible scenario”
In addition, Hansen said modern techniques make a mouse entering a can during production “a virtually impossible scenario”.
Defending the processes at Monster Energy factories, the company said: “Importantly, while on the high speed can line, each can is turned upside down and injected with high-pressured deionized air, making it virtually impossible for any foreign object to remain in the can. Each can is then immediately filled and sealed at high speed.”
However, modern production techniques have not completely stamped out incidents of this kind.
Premier Foods in the UK had to pay a £16,821.14 ($27,148) fine last year after a consumer found a rodent squashed into a loaf of Hovis bread. The firm conceded that it had failed to ensure that all stages of food production were protected against contamination.