Coca-Cola Vietnam fined $19,300 for food safety violations

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Coca-Cola Vietnam fined $19,300 for food safety violations


The health ministry Thursday fined Coca-Cola Beverages Vietnam Ltd VND433 million (US$19,300) for violating food safety regulations following an inspection it carried out last month.
The company was also ordered to recall a batch of energy drink Samurai produced in May, which was found to contain less folic acid than claimed.
The inspection found that Coca-Cola made 13 products categorized as "food supplements".
Inspectors said the company was only licensed to make bottled drinks and did not have separate safety certificates required for producing supplements.
On June 23 they ordered Coca-Cola to suspend the production and sale of such products, which include milk drink Minute Maid Nutriboost, carbonated energy drink Samurai, Minute Maid Teppy Orange Drink, sports drink Aquarius, bottled water Dasani, and Minute Maid Splash Smooth.
The inspectors also concluded that a batch of strawberry-flavored energy drink Samurai manufactured on May 24, 2016, contained less vitamin B9 (folic acid) than indicated on the label.
Coca-Cola had sold nearly $234 million worth of products in the batch before the discovery.
The Food Safety Administration on June 28 and July 1 granted Coca-Cola the necessary licenses for the food supplements.
But news website Tuoi Tre quoted Dang Van Chinh, chief inspector at the Ministry of Health, as saying that the licenses do not have a retroactive effect and products made prior to the licensing are illegal until they pass quality tests, he said.
Nguyen Khoa My, external relations director of Coca-Cola Vietnam, said the company "totally abides" by the health ministry's decision.
He said the insufficient content of folic acid in the energy drink does not affect customers' health.
The ministry had in May fined Philippine beverage firm URC more than VND5.8 billion ($260,000) for producing and selling products with high lead content.
It also plans to inspect two other major beverage companies, Wonderfarm and Pepsi Vietnam, this year.

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