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October 18, 2011

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Bacteria concerns over juice and tea

DANGEROUS levels of bacteria have been discovered in fresh juice and milk tea on sale in the city, the local consumers' rights watchdog warned yesterday.

Some 40 samples were tested by the Shanghai Commission of Consumer Rights and Interests Protection.

It found 12 juice samples - including watermelon juice sold at a Jack Hut branch in Putuo District - contained high levels of some bacteria.

Food poisoning

And 16 samples, such as milk tea on sale at a My-Girl outlet in Zhabei District, had high levels of E. coli bacteria, which can lead to serious food poisoning, officials said.

Another problem discovered was that some of the juices were found to contain preservatives, despite being marketed as additive-free, they said.

The commission said that fresh juice and milk tea can easily contain high levels of bacteria, because it may already be present in the raw materials.

Risks are increased because the drinks are often prepared in an open environment and some staff don't follow proper hygiene rules.

There are no national regulations for such drinks.

The commission officials said the country needs to have unified standards for such products.

Nationally, authorities have not decided which governmental department should be in charge of the fresh juice market, thus leaving supervision basically non-existent, said the commission.


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