Deputy chief inspector of the Ministry of Health Nguyen Van Nhien has issued a fine of VND5.826 billion ($259,743) on drink producer URC Hanoi Co., Ltd. (URC Hanoi) for violating food safety regulations, according to newswire Cafef.vn.
Accordingly, the company was fined VND5.812 billion ($259,119) for supplying batches of two products having the excessive presence of lead in the firm’s ingredients , namely its green tea C2 and energy drink Rong Do (Red Dragon), which it produced on February 4, 2016, and November 10, 2015, respectively.
In addition, the company violated safety regulations at its warehouse as well as in preserving products, which incurred an additional fine of VND14 million ($624.17).
Nhien said that this is the highest-ever fine imposed for food safety violations, but remained adamant that it is proportionate to the magnitude of the crime.
Previously, Vietnam Food Association (VFA) tested the drink products of URC Hanoi Co., Ltd. due to concerns around the amount of lead in a sample of citric acid, which exceeded the allowed content.
The company began to raise public concern after a test report by the National Institute of Food Control (NIFC) spread on social media, and newswires reported the amount of lead in a sample of citric acid, an ingredient used by the drinking firm, stood at 0.84mg per litre, higher than the allowable lead content of 0.5 mg per litre.
URC Hanoi, a subsidiary of URC Vietnam, is the Vietnamese arm of Universal Robina Corporation, one of the largest consumer food and beverage companies in the Philippines. Established in 2010, URC Hanoi specialises in manufacturing biscuits, snacks, candies, and drinks.
By Ha Vy
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