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Soda company fined over contamination of Apple Sidra: official

2018/11/14 21:24:16

Taipei, Nov. 14 (CNA) A company in New Taipei that produces the drink Apple Sidra was fined Wednesday for violation of food safety regulations following complaints by some consumers that they had fallen ill after drinking the soda, the city's health department said.

Oceanic Beverages Co., a listed company on Taiwan's stock market, has been fined NT$1 million (US$32,300) for failing to promptly recall the product after receiving complaints from consumers, said Yang Shu-chin (楊舒秦), an official at the New Taipei Department of Health.

The company also failed to report the problem to the relevant authorities, as required under the self-management terms of the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation, Yang said.

In the period from July to September, Oceanic Beverages received 122 complaints about its Apple Sidra, which was said to contain sediments and was causing diarrhea and stomach ache among consumers, he said.

However, while the complaints started in July, the company did not recall the drink until September, Yang said.

During the three-month period, Oceanic Beverages sold some 2.35 million bottles of Apple Sidra in the 2,000 milliliter size that had the alleged contamination problem, he said.

On Tuesday, the city's health department ordered Oceanic Beverages to recall all Apple Sidra drinks produced on or before Sept. 28 but said the company could replace them with soda produced after that date.

In a statement released the same day, Oceanic Beverages said the problem was limited to the 2,000 ml plastic bottles of Apple Sidra and that it would replace them as the health department had suggested.

According to Yang, laboratory tests ordered by the health department found no harmful levels of bacteria in the soda. However, an inspection of the Apple Sidra plant in Taoyuan found that the drink had been contaminated with some substance on the production line due to faulty equipment, he said.

(By Sunrise Huang and Elizabeth Hsu)