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September 9, 2012

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Bright leaves customers with a sour taste

NEARLY 1,000 households in Shanghai received sour milk yesterday morning produced by Bright Dairy. The company said the milk was mistakenly transported at the wrong temperature.

Households in several districts, including Changning, Zhabei, Putuo and Yangpu were affected.

Edward Dai, a resident in the Pudong New Area's Huamu community, has used the fresh milk delivery service for more than five years and said this was the first time he received sour milk.

The milk was in a 220ml glass bottle and at first he didn't find any problem with it. But after taking one sip, he immediately spit it out. "It smelled like cheese," he said. "It was sour."

He found other residents had similar problems after logging onto his microblog. He called the company's hotline and found the line was always busy.

Some joked on their microblogs that they ordered milk, but received yoghurt.

After being tipped off by residents, the Shanghai Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision started investigating the case.

Meanwhile, the bureau used its microblog to warn residents to be cautious when drinking milk from the same batch.

Shanghai-based Bright Dairy & Food Co Ltd apologized in a public statement that was issued on its website at 3pm yesterday.

"The temperature in transportation vehicles failed to meet the standard," the statement said. "This caused some of the products to spoil."

After being produced in the plant, the milk was transported to large freezers before morning delivery. The problem occurred during the transportation to the freezers, according to the statement.

The company said in the statement that nearly 1,000 people had complained about the problem and it would compensate customers, who were given the choice of a refund or a replacement.

According to Xinmin Evening News, 230,000 220ml glass bottles of milk were produced with the production batch number of 20120907. It was unclear how many bottles went sour.

This is the dairy giant's most recent scandal.

In June, its Ubest milk was found to be contaminated with an alkaline solution. An automatic valve didn't switch on at the right time at one of Bright's factories, which led to some alkaline water left in a pipeline to mix with fresh milk on the production line during routine equipment maintenance.


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