Volume 42, Issue 6 (November 1997)

    A False Report of Product Tampering Involving a Rodent and Soft Drink Can: Light Microscopy, Image Analysis and Scanning Electron Microscopy/Energy Dispersive X-Ray Analysis

    (Received 23 January 1997; accepted 14 April 1997)

    CODEN: JFSOAD

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    Abstract

    The “Pepsi® Tamperings” of 1993 resulted in a large number of cases involving foreign objects reportedly found inside canned soft drinks. Although the majority of cases involved medical syringes and metallic objects, one case involved the report of a mouse found inside a can of Caffeine-Free Diet Pepsi. Using light and polarized light microscopy and computer-assisted image analysis, trace evidence and tooth structure from the suspect mouse were matched to scratches and indentions on the suspect can. Scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray analysis were used to compare and match particles of gnawed metal from the lid of the suspect can to other particles recovered from the muzzle and stomach of the suspect mouse. The forensic analyses in this case proved the mouse could not have been canned in the soft drink product and refuted the defendant's sworn statements.


    Author Information:

    Wolnik, KA
    Research biologist/electron microscopist, research biologist, and director, Inorganic Branch, Forensic Chemistry Center, US Food and Drug Administration, Cincinnati, OH

    Ranieri, N
    Research biologist/electron microscopist, research biologist, and director, Inorganic Branch, Forensic Chemistry Center, US Food and Drug Administration, Cincinnati, OH

    Platek, SF
    Research biologist/electron microscopist, research biologist, and director, Inorganic Branch, Forensic Chemistry Center, US Food and Drug Administration, Cincinnati, OH


    Stock #: JFS14280J

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS14280J

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    Title A False Report of Product Tampering Involving a Rodent and Soft Drink Can: Light Microscopy, Image Analysis and Scanning Electron Microscopy/Energy Dispersive X-Ray Analysis
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30