Anyone a fan of Mala hotpot?
I know I’m not because it’s too spicy for my liking. But you guys saw what’s on the news right? The one that has been circulating these few days over the news and online media?
Cave-women and cavemen, let me shed some light on this matter.
On Monday, 9 October, Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) released a statement saying that the import of instant hotpot products containing meat was not approved. One of it is Ba Shu Hotpot.
懒人麻辣火锅 friends, I hope you don’t have it in any of your storage.
Anyway, this instant hotpot product line which contains meat has been removed from the shelves so we’re all safe. But for those you’ve gotten it in some way way or another before, please refrain from eating.
It’s for your own good.
Fake ‘AVA certificate’
Yup, so if you’ve seen the ‘AVA certificate’ promoted by those unauthorized sellers, it can’t be real because AVA did not even approve the products for sale in the first place.
According to Channel NewsAsia, AVA has since taken action against six importers and four sellers for selling these instant hotpots containing meat.
Why is it dangerous?
So apparently, any food products containing meat can only imported from approved sources that abides with the AVA food safety standards and requirements.
You wouldn’t want to eat any meat that may carry animal or food-borne diseases, don’t you?
This is the reason why Ramly burgers in Singapore taste different from the ones in Malaysia: the original patty isn’t approved by AVA, so street vendors switched to other patties.
But anyway, back to our dear 懒人麻辣火锅.
We did some research and found out some information from one of its suppliers.
Meet Joneve Trading
Jonene Trading was one of the early players in this whole instant Mala hotpot thing.
They were advertising on their Facebook page as early as March this year.
Thereafter, the company then entered Qoo10 to increase its earnings.
As you can see, the are selling it at 2 packs for $19.90. Sounds pretty attractive isn’t it? You get to eat Mala hotpot, instant some more, at only $10.
In light of this recent turn of events, they have since issued a statement on their Facebook Page.
It’s a super long statement, so here’s the tl;dr version in point form:
- They didn’t fake their AVA cert. Others took it and Photoshopped it, and they have since reported that
- A “declaring agent” did the declaration process of the ingredients. It’s unknown whether the agent is a forwarder or not. Joneve Trading was not involved in the process
- In August, AVA officers did an inspection of their warehouse, found the unapproved boxes and took samples. They then contacted their China factory and worked with AVA and the factory on the inspection
- The China factory refused the inspection (fear that their recipe will be leaked) and therefore, Joneve looked for another factory that is in the list of “AVA accessed (assessed?) factory”, and by the end of this month, the products will be tested in Singapore
- If anyone has purchased the unapproved products, you can get a refund from the seller (or from them)
They also included images of documents to support their claims.
Okay, end of story? Not. In order to support their claims, we get to see confidential information. And busybodies like us would like to see the cost price of the boxes..which, well, is revealed.
Saw the part boxed up in red? It’s USD$2.10 for one pack. That’s about S$2.84.
Hmm. So they are earning $7.16 more from the sale of each pack.
No, no, we’re salty only because…okay, we’re just salty.
It’s understandable that the cost price of any product is often very low. It’s after all a business: there are lots of expenses like logistics, manpower, supply chain, marketing and whatnot. Heck, even the can of soft drink on your table could could mere $0.01, and knowing that makes us salty.
But life still has to go on right? For those who’ve gotten from a hotpot from them, you can seek a refund.
So I guess if you’re one of the “victims” of this saga, you know what to do.
And like what they’ve said, Joneve is still NOT giving up on this Mala business.
I know right. They claimed that they have found an AVA-approved factory that can supply a new range hotpots.
Once sample packs are out, it will be sent for testing and approval by a lab recommended by AVA.
They are aiming for the launch at the end of this year, incorporating Korean and Singaporean spicy and non-spicy flavors.
Hmm, that ‘Korean’ word does excite me a little but I have trust issues leh. How?
Mala fans, what are your thoughts?
But seriously, Korean mala hotpots? OMG.
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This article was first published on goodyfeed.com
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Featured Image: Joneve Trading’s Facebook Page