An explosion has caused quite a mess of a warehouse in New Jersey. But it wasn’t a firey explosion like one would assume, but rather the eruption of ketchup bottles due to the counterfeit product they were filled with. So what exactly happened? It didn’t turn out to be a sabotage of the illicit condiment shipment, but something more scientific during the filling process.
I already know what you’re asking yourself; why would somebody want to produce mass-amounts of counterfeit ketchup? The plan was to simply replace the ketchup in the more expensive “Simply Heinz” product with that of less-expensive, standard Heinz ketchup. The bottles would remain branded “Simply Heinz”, customers wouldn’t know the difference, and there would be potential to make a noteworthy profit.
So why exactly did they bottles explode? By opening the factory-sealed bottles of “Simply Heinz”, the counterfeiters were subjecting the existing ketchup and bottles to various types of microbes – therefore contaminating an otherwise sanitary product. In a legitimate bottling process, the condiment and the bottles would be heated, killing bacteria, before sealing the bottles. The counterfeit bottles were in a normally-temperatured warehouse where the bottles remained unopened for extended periods of time and allowed the newly introduced bacteria to multiply and produce gases that resulted in the explosions.
In a typical restaurant scenario, bottles of ketchup and other condiments are frequently refilled and reused. They are often un-refridgerated much like the bottles in the warehouse. The reason they do not explode in a similar way is that they are fairly regularly opened by customers and refilled frequently.
It’s not known whether or not any of the tainted, counterfeit bottles reached any store shelves. If so, the same ‘condiment-bomb’ effect will likely happen again. It makes you think twice about the products that you mindlessly grab in the supermarket.