Kombucha has just been pulled off the shelves by most of the major distributors in the United States, because of some concerns over the minuscule amount of alcohol that is in kombucha due to the fermentation process from which it is produced. I have always been aware that kombucha had a little alcohol in it, but have never heard of anyone getting drunk or even a small buzz from drinking it, nor have I ever seen kids or teenagers buying kombucha organic and raw.
I personally am not a big kombucha drinker, but I know many people that drink it everyday and are going to be very upset over this situation. The government wants to control the supplement industry so the Food and Drug Administration have put pressure on wholesale distributors and large retailers.
This is the notice that is currently on the shelves where kombucha used to be in a Whole Foods market by my house,” Key suppliers and Whole Foods Market have elected to voluntarily withdraw Kombucha products in bottles and on tap from our stores at this time due to labeling concerns related to slightly elevated alcohol levels in some products.
This is not a quality issue. Sorry for any inconvenience.”
The following is a letter that is paraphrased from a major health food distributor to the retail stores that they service:
“Effective immediately and until further notice all sales of unpasteurized ready to drink kombucha products, regardless of brand, have been suspended from distribution. In order for distribution to commence on a supplier by supplier basis each supplier must accomplish the following two requirements:
1. Certify in writing by an authorized company officer that the supplier’s unpasteurized ready to drink kombucha has been taken from an applicable distribution center and been subjected to alcohol content testing within the past 30 days and all such tested samples show less than.5% alcohol content by volume.
2. An authorized company officer must execute a specific indemnification agreement related to this issue.
At this time we will not be picking up affected product and we advise our customers to remove from sale until such time as the above requirements are met. Please understand these measures taken are designed to protect you and your customers and we appreciate your support while we all work through this issue.”
The manufactures of kombucha need to be able to prove and document that the drinks do not exceed.5% alcohol. I would assume that the major companies like GTS would have the resources to get this handled quickly. I hope this is just minor inconvenience for those of you who love kombucha.