Sucralose from China may be in short supply
To be clear, the biggest things we should be most concerned about with the spread of the new coronavirus — COVID-19 — is the thousands already infected, the health of others, and the use of the disease to justify anti-Chinese racism, which — stateside — is affecting Chinese-owned businesses. But we can take a moment to talk about Diet Coke, too. Coca-Cola says that the spread of COVID-19 is disrupting its supply chain of artificial sweeteners from China, which could affect production of its diet and no-sugar drinks.
Though the company didn’t specify which artificial sweeteners came from China, CNN reports that in Coca-Cola’s annual report, the company identified sucralose as a “critical raw material” sourced from China. In a statement, Coca-Cola said it has “implemented precautionary measures to protect employees in China, which includes providing face masks and hand sanitizers; installing temperature screening in offices and manufacturing facilities; and setting up health monitoring mechanisms across the Coca-Cola system in China.” Exports of artificial sweeteners produced in China have been delayed, but Coca-Cola said it will know more about the situation by April, and that they don’t expect any delays. Maybe now Diet Coke-loving Trump will have to actually do something about the looming epidemic.
Correction: This piece was amended to reflect that Splenda is a brand name of sucralose, and that Coke’s sucralose supply from China is not Splenda.
And in other news...
- Food blogger Angela Davis of The Kitchenista tweeted that her 16-year-old son is missing, and is asking for any assistance. “It’s overwhelming,” she wrote. “This is a nightmare I wouldn’t wish on any parent… just want my kid home.” [People]
- The FDA says Jimmy John’s “engaged in a pattern” of selling vegetables, specifically sprouts and cucumbers, that put consumers at risk of salmonella and E.Coli. [RBO]
- The Michelin Guide will be hosting a separate event for the Bib Gourmands for the first time ever, and will be announcing the U.K. and Ireland’s Michelin stars at an event open to the public. [Eater London]
- The Hot Pockets heiress was sentenced to five months in prison for paying $300,000 to fraudulently help her daughters get into college. [Reuters]
- HOT NOW: Krispy Kreme is introducing nationwide delivery service. [FBN]
- McDonald’s is auctioning an 18-karat gold Shamrock Shake cup that’s been appraised at $90,000. [CNN]
- As our planet warms, what would it look like for Canada to become a breadbasket? [Modern Farmer]
- Amazon set up some Skynet-level surveillance in its new Amazon Go Grocery, so Ars Technica tried to steal some fruit. [Ars Technica]
- Taco Bell says it’ll offer plant-based meat by next year. [Bloomberg]
- Turns out Trump and his entourage didn’t even eat the broccoli corn samosa, or any of the specially-made vegetarian menu, in Ahmedabad. [Yahoo]
- The above makes sense, as Trump’s doctor says he has to sneak cauliflower into his mashed potatoes. You know, like how you feed a baby. [The Hill]