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Davao City may shutter 2 milk tea shops for using expired ingredients

Davao City officials have named two milk tea shops in the city that have allegedly defied orders to surrender expired ingredients used in their products.

The city government is considering sanctions against the shops.
GMA Davao reported Thursday that the two establishments had been asked to turn over the ingredients to the city health office by the last week of April but they had not done so.
"For the benefit of all, hindi lang ang public but also those who are not concerned with this controversy. The Happy Lemon and 360, dalawa yan sila," city administrator Melchor Quitain said.
"I gave instructions to the business bureau to look into this on the possibility of closing ... in the meantime, because ... I understand that there are still expired products which they refuse to surrender to us," he also said.
City Health Office environment and sanitation division chief Robert Oconer said that he has talked to the shops' managers.
"I was informed by their manager, they were informed by their legal counsel from Manila that they refuse to do so, hindi rin sinabi kung bakit. That’s why we’re having a meeting with Atty. Quitain, the city administrator, kung what actions can we do," Oconer said.

Happy Lemon: Expired tea leaves already pulled out

Happy Lemon, in a statement, said packs of expired Jasmine Green Tea leaves were found in one of its branches in Davao during an inspection by the City Health Office in April.
But it said that at the time of the inspection, these items "were already scheduled for pull-out from the branch to be properly discarded by management."
"Immediately after inspection, they were removed from store premises and turned over to mall administration," it said.
It added it had been in constant communication with the City Health Office's officials as to the next steps to be taken.
"There was some confusion as to the mode of disposing. Rest assured, there is no reason whatsoever for Happy Lemon not to comply with the policies and standards of the City Health Office," it said.
It said it uses fresh ingredients and follows strict sanitary and food safety policies, and never uses expired ingredients in the drinks it serves.
"We share the same commitment with the City Health Office to uphold the safety of our own customers and emphasize our willingness to cooperate with and comply with its requirements," it said.

The city government inspected milk tea shops after an incident in Manila, where two people died and another was hospitalized after drinking milk tea. — Joel Locsin/JDS, GMA News