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Coca-Cola fined over food safety breach

Released at: 18:09, 29/07/2016

Coca-Cola fined over food safety breach

Photo: Duc Anh

Company must also retrieve batch of beverages following Ministry of Health inspection.

by Hong Nhung

The Ministry of Health (MoH) on July 28 issued a decision fining Coca-Cola Vietnam and retrieving a batch of Samurai energy drinks due to violations in food safety.

A fine of $20,000 was levied by MoH after conducting a 45-day inspection. The company manufactured supplementary drinks without a required Certificate of Food Safety Conditions at three plants in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang.

Coca-Cola Vietnam must also take a batch of Samurai energy drinks off the market, which are low quality compared to standards on the content of Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid). The total value of the drinks is about $10,600.

In response to the MoH decision, Mr. Nguyen Khoa My, Public Affairs and Communications Manager at Coca-Cola Vietnam, told VET that “Coca-Cola has paid the administrative fine for insufficient Vitamin B9 levels in the batch of Samurai.”

He also said the company’s plants have received Certificate of Food Safety Conditions from MoH for manufacturing supplementary beverages and also will retrieve the Samurai drinks as directed. The company is committed to meeting all administration requirements set by Vietnamese authorities.

According to Mr. My, the company's plants in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh and Da Nang are now all fully certified and compliant with Food Safety Conditions, which allow them to manufacture and distribute the company’s full range of carbonated, non-carbonated and bottled water products. The Certificate of Food Safety Conditions issued by the MoH also allows them to manufacture supplementary beverages.

Coca-Cola’s supplementary beverages, including Nutriboost, Teppy, Aquarius, and Dasani have all had their product registration approved by the MoH, he added. Test results conclusively prove that all meet specified food safety standards.

The MoH began inspections at Coca-Cola Vietnam in mid-June and then issued a document suspending the circulation of 13 different types of supplementary beverages due to the absence of certificates on food safety conditions in production.

Coca-Cola has manufacturing bases in seven cities and provinces in Vietnam: Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Can Tho, Khanh Hoa and Nghe An. It has long been ranked among the Top 5 brands with the largest market share in the country’s beverage sector.

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