SYDNEY (Reuters) - An Australian beer company owned by SABMiller Plc SAB.L said on Friday it has recalled more than a million bottles of beer after broken glass was found in the product, a setback at the start of traditionally busy holiday season sales.
The recall also presented an unwelcome distraction for SABMiller as it seeks to win over regulators around the world for a proposed $106 billion buyout by rival Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI.BR).
Melbourne-based Carlton & United Breweries, which SABMiller bought in 2011, said in a statement it had recalled a batch of its Carlton Dry beer because of an unspecified issue "as a result of packaging".
"This sort of thing is rare but we take the quality of our beers seriously," it said. The batch was made in Queensland state in October.
A Carlton spokeswoman said the company alerted food safety authorities after customers complained of suspected traces of glass in their beer. The recall involved 43,000 cases of the low-carb beer.
The brewer was investigating the cause but did not expect the damage was intentional, the spokeswoman said.
Regulator Food Standards Australia New Zealand said the recall would affect bottles sold in supermarkets belonging to Woolworths Ltd (WOW.AX), Coles, which is owned by Wesfarmers Ltd (WES.AX), and Metcash Ltd (MTS.AX), as well as other independent outlets and bars, pubs, clubs and restaurants.
Reporting by Byron Kaye; Editing by Paul Tait