A police officer in the southern province of Ca Mau has admitted to selling expired fish sauce to a local hospital that had given it as Lunar New Year gifts to its staff.
The cop said it was a mistake, but officials have countered that it was a deliberate act.
Truong Tan Dat, police chief of Ward 7 in Ca Mau Town, the provincial capital, came to the Ca Mau Pediatrics and Obstetrics Hospital on Thursday accepting his fault.
Dat said his children had mistakenly sold the bottles.
But Ca Mau food safety officials said Dat had pasted new labels with new production and expiry dates over the original ones. The original labels mentioned the production date as October 10, 2011 and the expiry date as one year after the date of production.
The new labels put the production date as October 2012 or 2013.
The hospital bought 560 of the bottles, which according to the labels, is made by Thanh Quoc Company on Phu Quoc Island in Kien Giang Province.
It has recalled all the bottles, each worth VND31,000 (US$1.49). The fish sauce was given to staff members as Lunar New Year gifts together with sugar and seasonings.
Some of the employees had discovered the scam and reported it to the hospital on February 2, eight days before the Lunar New Year.
There was no information on further action to be taken in the case.
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