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St. Petersburg man reports finding screws in Coke can

A St. Petersburg man said Thursday he found two metal screws in a can of Coca-Cola.

John A. Sedwick, 45, said he choked on one of the screws Wednesday when he began to drink a 12-ounce can of Coke at a Dunedin carpet-cleaning businesswhere he works.

"I didn't know what it was," Sedwick said Thursday. "I thought it went down the wrong way but it was the screw."

Sedwick says he later found a second screw in the soda.

Dunedin police and federal Food and Drug Administration officials in Tampa are investigating Sedwick's claim.

The allegations mirror a flood of product-tampering allegations throughout the nation, most involving Pepsi-Cola products. None of those reports have been confirmed, the FDA reported Thursday. Unlike the original Diet Pepsi cases near Seattle, however, the Dunedin incident did not involved a syringe.

A report of a screw found inside a Diet Pepsi can in Jacksonville was confirmed Wednesday. Authorities said it apparently fell off machinery.

"At this point, we're treating it as a legitimate case," Dunedin police Sgt. Tim Melnick said.

The soda was part of a 12-pack purchased Monday by Sedwick's boss at the Publix supermarket on Belcher Road at Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard in Clearwater.

Erny Clausnitzer, supervising investigator for the FDA office in Tampa, said Thursday that even though reports of product tampering have skyrocketed, "so far, we've had few complaints" in the Tampa Bay area.

_ Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.