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December 14, 2012

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Hsu Fu Chi snacks come under cloud

SOME hypermarkets in Shanghai have stopped selling two snacks made by famous Chinese candy and snack maker Hsu Fu Chi, following a Shenzhen court ruling that the company should compensate consumers as the products contained banned substances.

Carrefour and Lotus said they have ordered their outlets in Shanghai to suspend selling Hsu Fu Chi's mango shortcake (pastry) and sesame sachima (also called shaqima, a famous Chinese pastry), while some other supermarkets like NGS were awaiting an official response.

The Shanghai Industrial and Commercial Administrative Bureau had no comment.

The move comes after a consumer in the southern Guangdong Province filed a lawsuit against Hsu Fu Chi International Ltd, based in Dongguan, Guangdong, in August, accusing the company of producing tainted food products.

The consumer bought some Hsu Fu Chi snacks and candies at 17.8 yuan (US$2.7) in August and found from information on the packages that the products contained tertiary butyl hydroquinone (TBHQ) and Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), both synthetic food-grade antioxidants banned from use in cakes or candies in China. He therefore demanded a refund and a compensation of 35.6 yuan.

Hsu Fu Chi said the substances were not added, but created naturally by edible oil during the frying process or by peanut kernel in the snacks.

It also provided three quality certificates issued by the Dongguan Bureau of Quality and Technology Supervision, which cleared the company's food products.

The Shenzhen court, however, said the documents from the quality watchdog cannot prove that Hsu Fu Chi did not use the two antioxidants directly.


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