Vietnam’s Ministry of Health has requested that 13 different types of Coca-Cola products, classified as nutritional supplement drinks, be suspended from sales as the beverage maker was not certified to produce them.
The product lines include Minute Maid Nutriboost (with mango, orange and strawberry flavors), Samurai energy drink (glass and PET bottles with strawberry flavor), Teppy Orange Drink, Aquarius mineral sports drink, and Dasani with added minerals and nutrition, according to the ministry’s inspectorate.
The decision came as part of the outcome of a comprehensive inspection of the Vietnamese unit of Coca-Cola, which began on June 21.
The checkup has found three Coca-Cola plants, located in Hanoi, the central city of Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh City, as producing supplement foods, while the soft drink maker are not eligible to do so, according to inspectors.
The health ministry inspectorate therefore requested that Coca-Cola stop the production and circulation of these products to complete the needed paperwork.
The health inspectorate has also sent fiats to the health departments in the three said cities, plus Can Tho City, and Nghe An and Khanh Hoa provinces, requesting them to closely watch over the suspended sales of the 13 product lines in their locale.
However, Coca-Cola Vietnam believes the inspection results do not fully reflect the production licensing at the company, its media representative told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Friday.
All Coca-Cola plants in Vietnam have been certified and licensed to produce soft drinks, non-carbonated drinks and bottled beverages, Nguyen Khoa My, head of public relations with the drink maker, asserted.
My however admitted that following an internal checkup a few months ago, Coca-Cola Vietnam realized that it had to meet some additional requirements for the production of products with added minerals and nutrition, also known as dietary supplement.
“Coca-Cola Vietnam acknowledged that it had failed to get a timely update of the regulation changes,” My said.
However, he added, the company had immediately completed the paperwork to be eligible to produce such products as Aquarius, Dasani with added nutrition, Samurai, Minute Maid Nutriboost and Teppy in June.
My underlined that at the moment, Coca-Cola Vietnam has obtained the certificates, issued by the health ministry, to produce those drinks at its plants in Hanoi, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh City.
“So all Coca-Cola Vietnam products are safe and meet Vietnamese food safety standard,” he concluded.