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  • What is Panera Bread's Charged Lemonade made of? Bakery chain faces second lawsuit as Florida man dies after consuming the drink
Panera Bread faces second lawsuit (Image via Twitter/@YourLowdown)

What is Panera Bread's Charged Lemonade made of? Bakery chain faces second lawsuit as Florida man dies after consuming the drink

Panera Bread came under heavy scrutiny after yet another person reportedly died after consuming the bakery chain's infamous Charged Lemonade. A lawsuit filed on Monday, December 5, alleged that a 46-year-old Florida man named Dennis Brown died of cardiac arrest after consuming three Charged Lemonades from a local Panera outlet on October 9.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the deceased man's family. This is the second lawsuit Panera Bread is facing due to Charged Lemonade after an Ivy League student passed away after reportedly consuming the drink in September last year. The chain claims that the drink is made from plant-based and clean caffeine like guarana and green coffee extract.

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One large Charged Lemonade reportedly contains more caffeine than a standard can of Red Bull and Monster Energy combined

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According to the official Panera Bread website, their infamous Charged Lemonade is made with "plant-based" and "natural" ingredients like guarana and green coffee extract. Their menu claims the drink has as much caffeine as the chain's dark roast coffee.

Registered dietitian, Lisa DeFazio told the Guardian that the caffeine extract from guarana, an Amazonian plant, was "more powerful" as it reacted differently when consumed. It contains two times the caffeine found in regular coffee beans. The dietitian told the outlet that, unlike coffee, guarana caffeine does not release immediately in the stomach.

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"It releases slowly over a period of time. This has a long-lasting, slow-burning, more intense effect," Lisa DeFazio said.

A regular-sized Charged Lemonda contains 20 ounces of the drink, which houses 260 mg of caffeine and 65-85g of sugar. The large size comes in a 30-ounce cup and contains 390 mg of caffeine and 98-124g of sugar.

If customers avail of Panera Bread's Unlimited Sip Club yearly or monthly subscription, they receive free refills of the drink every two hours.

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Charged Lemonades are part of Panera's Charged Sip lineup, which includes the Mango Yuzu Citrus Charged Lemonade, Strawberry Lemon Mint Charged Lemonade, and the zero-sugar Blood Orange Charged Splash.

On visiting the official Panera Bread website, consumers are greeted with a warning, that says:

"Charged Sips contain 245-390mg of CAFFEINE - Consume in Moderation. NOT RECOMMENDED FOR children, people sensitive to caffeine, pregnant or nursing women."

According to the lawsuit filed on Monday, a standard 12-ounce can of Red Bull contains 114 mg of caffeine and a standard 16-ounce can of Monster Energy Drink contains 160 mg of caffeine. Meanwhile, a 30-ounce large-size Charged Lemonade contains a whopping 390 mg of caffeine.


Dennis Brown suffered a fatal cardiac arrest after reportedly drinking three Panera Bread Charged Lemonades

A lawsuit filed on Monday alleged that the Panera Bread Charged Lemonde was responsible for the death of 46-year-old Fleming Island, Florida native, Dennis Brown. According to the lawsuit, the man allegedly consumed three Charged Lemonades from a Panera outlet before succumbing to a fatal cardiac arrest while going home.

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A picture from Dennis Brown's obituary (Image via Bivens Funeral Home)

The lawsuit filed on behalf of Dennis' mother and siblings revealed that the man had chromosomal deficiency disorder, mild intellectual disability, developmental delay, and ADHD, as per NBC News. He also refrained from energy drinks as he had high blood pressure. He used to work at Publix Super Markets and often visited the bakery chain after his shift.

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The lawsuit alleged that Panera did not advertise the drink as an "energy drink" that contained a high amount of caffeine and other stimulants but instead marketed it as simply "plant-based and clean." The display at the Fleming Island outlet from where Dennis reportedly purchased the drink allegedly did not contain any warnings and advertised the drink "side-by-side" with non-caffeinated or less-caffeinated beverages.

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Dennis was also a member of the bakery chain's Unlimited Sip Club. The lawsuit revealed that he had been consuming the drink for the last six days. Panera Bread released a statement in response to the lawsuit and said:

"Panera expresses our deep sympathy for Mr. Brown’s family. Based on our investigation we believe his unfortunate passing was not caused by one of the company’s products."

The company further stated:

"We view this lawsuit which was filed by the same law firm as a previous claim to be equally without merit. Panera stands firmly by the safety of our products."

Panera Bread was hit with a similar lawsuit back in October. The lawsuit was filed by the family of Sarah Katz, a 21-year-old Ivy League Student who died in September 2022, due to multiple cardiac arrests after allegedly consuming the Charged Lemonade from a Panera outlet in Philadelphia.

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Sarah suffered from QT syndrome (LQTS) type 1, which causes one to have an irregular and fast heartbeat. Due to her heart condition, she refrained from consuming energy drinks but drank electrolyte drinks like lemonade and Gatorade. The lawsuit alleged that the student was not aware of the exorbitant amount of caffeine present in the drink, and instead thought it was simply "traditional lemonade."

Just like in Dennis Brown's case, Sarah's family accused the company of failing to provide a warning regarding any "potentially dangerous" effects Charged Lemonade may have on "blood pressure, heart rate, and/or brain function."

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Edited by
Adelle Fernandes
 
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