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March 17, 2014

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BreadTalk defends products sold locally

SINGAPORE-based bakery chain BreadTalk said yesterday it has isolated all of the ingredients bought from a Hangzhou-based supplier accused of selling out-of-date goods.

Also, all products manufactured using items bought from Hangzhou Guangqi have been withdrawn from sale, it said in a statement, adding that out-of-date items were purchased only by its Hangzhou outlets.

The statement was issued following claims made in the “3.15” news program shown by China Central Television on Saturday, or International Day for Protecting Consumers’ Rights.

BreadTalk said while it admitted to being a customer of Guangqi, it had not purchased all of the products named in the CCTV program. It said the flour and dough used by its China outlets were supplied by its own factory in Shanghai.

In the wake of the show, the company has, however, ordered all of its outlets to enhance scrutiny and management so as to eliminate unsafe suppliers, it said.

Food safety officials in Hangzhou said yesterday the owner of Guangqi is under investigation and that more than 4,600 boxes of products containing 36 kinds of ingredients have been sealed. Six bakeries in Hangzhou have also been ordered to isolate products purchased from Guangqi, the officials said.

The Shanghai Food and Drug Administration said yesterday it had conducted checks and determined that Shanghai BreadTalk had not purchased any ingredients from Hangzhou Guangqi.

Meanwhile, Shanghai-based Fuji Food, the firm accused in the show of selling products nearing their expiry date to Guangqi, has been forced to cease operations pending a full investigation, which is under way, the administration said.

The company will face severe punishment if any irregularities are discovered, it said.

Hangzhou Guangqi bought unsalted butter from Fuji Food, the CCTV program claimed.

Business at BreadTalk outlets in Shanghai seemed to be affected by the reports.

A woman surnamed Sun said she used to shop at BreadTalk because it had a good reputation, but will now “think twice” and might opt for another bakery.

Hangzhou Guangqi was accused in the CCTV program of selling worm-infested wheatmeal and butter that was two years past its expiry date.


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