Under the current regulations, normal bottled drinks only require food quality certificates issued by municipal or provincial food safety agencies or the Ministry of Industry and Trade, for legal production, while those with added vitamins and minerals need extra food safety certificates from the VFA under the Ministry of Health, Phong said.
The suspended products have only received approval from the local food safety agencies as for normal bottled drinks, the official explained, adding that Coca-Cola Vietnam should have also applied for certificates from the VFA as their products are classified as “nutritional supplement drinks”.
He revealed that the VFA will propose to the government to exempt companies with HACCP Food Safety Management Systems certification from obtaining such food safety certificates in order to simplify the administration procedures.
Last month, the Ministry of Health pulled 13 beverage products of Coca-Cola Vietnam from store shelves. The listed products include Minute Maid Nutriboost milk drink in orange, strawberry and mango flavour, Samurai energy drink in strawberry flavour, Minute Maid TEPPY Orange Drink, Aquarius sport drink, Dasani bottled water and Minute Maid Splash Smooth.
Until now, three out of the firm’s six branches in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Danang have obtained the full set of food safety certificates from the authorities.