Food and beverage firm Universal Robina Corp. (URC) on Thursday announced that around a million bottles of its bottled tea and energy drink products were affected by a recall order by Vietnamese authorities after samples were found to contain lead that exceeded permitted limits.
“The specific batches, about a million bottles produced (were part of the recall order),” URC President and CEO Lance Y. Gokongwei told reporters after an annual stockholders’ meeting in Ortigas.
Gokongwei was referring to two URC beverages — bottled tea drink C2 and energy drink Rong —– which were being sold in Vietnam. Vietnam health authorities ordered the recall on May 20.
“From the two batches we were able to retrieve a few thousand cases,”
Gokongwei said, noting that the batches were manufactured in November 2015 and February this year.
The company has since clarified that its beverages available in the Philippines remain safe to drink.
“I’d like to be very clear that none of that product is being sold here in the Philippines,” Gokongwei said.
“In the Philippines, all URC products remain fully compliant with food standards,” URC Senior Vice President Renato Salud said earlier.
After preliminary investigation, Gokongwei said that the Vietnam Ministry of Health has suggested immediate improvement of the company’s warehouses in the country.
“Basically, they had some suggestions, more with warehouse practices, partly with regards to humidity controls, housekeeping practices,” he said, noting that these must be kept at a constant temperature.
Gokongwei also cleared that they are in constant communication with Vietnamese health officials regarding the matter.
“We are working closely in a very transparent matter,” he said. — APG, GMA News