Makes you wonder if the executives at Death Wish Coffee regret their business name choice, even just a little bit: The coffee company is recalling its Nitro Cold Brew over risks it could contain the deadly botulin toxin. "After several rounds of testing, a process specialist has recommended that we add an additional step to our nitro process," reads a post on the company's official Instagram account announcing the recall. A post on the company's website further clarifies that all cans of Nitro Cold Brew should be thrown out "as a precautionary measure." Refunds will be issued.
As the Washington Post explains, botulinum spores only grow when they don't have access to air. In an environment—especially a low-acid one—in which the oxygen level drops below 2%, their cells will multiply, and that's a pretty good description of the environment in which nitro cold-brew coffees are produced and canned. Botulism can be serious and even fatal if contracted. No illnesses have yet been reported related to the Death Wish recall, but as the Post notes, the jokes about the coincidence of the company's name "almost write themselves." The name actually refers to the high caffeine content of Death Wish coffee—54.2 milligrams per fluid ounce, compared to 12 to 16 milligrams per fluid ounce in a typical cup of coffee. (This company claims it has made an even stronger coffee.)