Canadian health officials are preparing to recall Prime Energy, a popular drink promoted by social media influencers, over concerns the product “exceeds the acceptable caffeine limits”.
Officials said they are aware some stores may be selling Prime Energy without approval.
The company has yet to officially launch its product in Canada.
In Canada, drinks cannot have more than 180mg of caffeine per serving. Some Prime Energy products have 200mg.
Prime Energy “contains a comparable amount of caffeine to other top selling energy drinks, all falling within the legal limit of the countries it’s sold in”, the company said in a statement to the BBC.
It also said the packaging states it is not made for anyone under the age of 18.
“As a brand, our top priority is consumer safety, so we welcome discussions with the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) or any other organisation regarding suggested industry changes they feel are necessary in order to protect consumers,” it said.
The official Canadian product is expected to contain about 140mg per can once available.
In 2022, social media influencers Logan Paul and KSI – who have around 48 million YouTube followers between them – launched the caffeine-free Prime Hydration drink. The company began selling Prime Energy this year and the product quickly became an online sensation, sparking chaotic scenes outside of stores as customers fought to get their hands on the product.
But health officials have raised concerns about the drink’s caffeine content – which is over twice the level of a 250 ml can of Red Bull.
How much caffeine is in energy drinks and other beverages?
- Prime Energy – 200mg (355ml can)
- Red Bull – 80mg (250ml)
- Monster – 160mg (473ml)
- Coca Cola original – 32mg (330ml)
- Brewed coffee – 135mg (235ml)
- Black tea – 30-50mg (235ml)
Source: caffeineinformer.com/Health Canada
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency advised that customers should not “consume, serve, use, sell, or distribute” drinks with more than 180mg of caffeine. The agency said officials are “actively working to address this issue” of stores possibly selling Prime Energy without approval.
Officials will share additional details about the recall in the coming days.
“Further assessment is underway for similar products that have been identified as potentially non-compliant,” it said in a statement.
The recall comes as US lawmakers have accused the company of marketing the caffeinated drink to children.
On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called on federal regulators to investigate the company for its marketing practices. He alleged that Prime Energy was packaged and marketed “in near identical form” as the brand’s caffeine-free drink, Prime Hydration.
Research shows consuming large amounts of caffeine can damage the heart and blood vessels. Studies also show consuming highly caffeinated drinks can be especially harmful for children and young adults and lead to issues with heart rhythm and blood pressure.