Singapore pulls 3 Taiwan noodle products over toxic acid scare

SINGAPORE - Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore's (AVA) said it has detected maleic acid in another three noodle products and one tapioca bubble tea pearl product.

The three noodle products are those sold under the Sun Chi brand - Guan Miao Noodle, Guan Miao Sliced Noodle and Guan Miao Hand Pulled Noodle. The pearls are Tapioca Pearls (Roselle) distributed under the the brand Shui Yan She.

This brings the total number of affected products to 19.

On a statement posted on their Facebook page on June 7 and June 11 respectively, AVA said that they have informed the importers of the affected products to withdraw them from sale immediately and withdrawal has been completed.

Consumers who have bought these products should either return them to the retailer or discard them and not consume them.

AVA assured consumers that they are monitoring the situation closely. "We are continuing with our surveillance of products from Taiwan to ensure that they do not contain maleic acid," the authority said.

Sun Chi however, has denied that its products are tainted. The company replied via comments posted on AVA's Facebook page on June 8 saying:

"Dear AVA We fully understood Maleic acid is not an approved additive & should not be detected in food products. For the time being, the testing methods and reports are provided on the basis of Taiwan authorities, we hereby kindly request if AVA could provide such testing method and make known to the public of food products whether may contain Maleic acid due to the fact.

"If you can not provide the testing method as requested, please kindly advise your suggestions of how we can acquire the testing by AVA."

They have also posted links to their test results on AVA's Facebook page.

AVA's replied to Sun Chi on June 8: " Hi, AVA has been liaising with Taiwan authorities on the maleic acid issue. Food products that are found to contain any maleic acid will not be allowed for sale in Singapore."

In a latest statement on June 11, it assured members of the public that it has in place a "comprehensive and integrated food safety system which includes risk analysis, legislation and standards, accreditation, import control, inspection and surveillance as well as laboratory testing to ensure the food safety of Singapore."

"As part of our routine surveillance, imported food products are regularly monitored and sampled to ensure that they do not contain chemical contaminants and microbial hazards," the authority said.