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Syringes found in two cola cans near Seattle

The Food and Drug Administration said Sunday that consumers in western states should closely inspect Diet Pepsi cans for signs of tampering after hypodermic needles were found in two cans.

The FDA said its initial laboratory analysis showed no signs of contamination in the two cases and no one has been injured.

"Everyone should empty the contents of the can into a glass or cup before drinking," FDA Commissioner David Kessler said.

Carl Behnke, president of the regional Pepsi bottler Alpac Corp., said Diet Pepsi drinkers in Washington, Alaska, Oregon, Hawaii and Guam should use caution.

The first syringe turned up in a Diet Pepsi consumed by an elderly couple in Tacoma, Wash.

Earl Tripplett, 82, and his wife Mary, 79, discovered the syringe and bent needle Wednesday in a Diet Pepsi can they had opened and drunk from the night before.

Alpac said the second can was found by a resident of Federal Way, Wash., about 18 miles south of Seattle.

The FDA said consumers should call either Alpac's hotline at (800) 433-COLA or the FDA office in Seattle at (206) 486-8788 if they had any questions about a product.

Behnke said a criminal investigation was under way.

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