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Probe investigates soft drink producer

Update: February, 13/2015 - 09:31
The department has asked provincial health authorities to scrutinise the company's production line, and the results of the inspections must be pubilised and reported to the department. — Photo thanhtra

BINH DUONG (VNS) — The Ministry of Health's Food Hygiene and Safety Department has instructed the health sector in Binh Duong Province to set up an inter-disciplinary team to inspect production activities at the Tan Hiep Phat Beverage Group in Thuan An Commune.

The department has asked provincial health authorities to scrutinise the company's production line, and the results of the inspections must be pubilised and reported to the department.

The decision has been made after a consumer in Tien Giang Province claimed to have found a dead fly in a Number One soft drink produced by the group. Vo Van Minh, the consumer, called the group to demand VND1 billion (US$47,170) to keep the incident a secret.

The man even threatened to report the case to local press. The group agreed to pay half of Minh's demand, but secretly reported the case to the police.

Minh was arrested while receiving the money from the group, and is being prosecuted for blackmail.

On many social websites, readers have called for people to boycott the group and its products for entrapping its customers.

The department has asked Tan Hiep Phat Group to report the incident to the department, and also asked the Binh Duong Province's Health Department for a final conclusion on this case.

Last week, the Ministry of Public Security's Criminal Science Institute revealed that the cap of Minh's bottle had been punctured by a sharp object.

On Tuesday, Tuoi tre (Youth) newspaper reported that two more consumers had complained about the quality of beverages produced by the group. A consumer, who wished to remain anonymous from Bien Hoa City's Long Binh Tan Ward, said two bottles of soya milk had changed colour, and one of the bottles contained a black object. The expiry date on the bottles was May 11, 2015.

Tran Thi Anh Thu, another consumer in Can Tho City's An Hoa Ward, said she had a bottle of Number One that contained a white substance. The expiry date on that bottle was July 23, 2015.

In 2009, authorities found and destroyed nearly 67 tonnes of expired flavouring at the company's warehouses in Binh Duong Province and HCM City. — VNS

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