If you’re in possession of a self-heating mala hotpot pack, you would be well advised to stuff it way under your cellar for a good long while.
For it’s not approved by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA).
As a result, consumption is strictly not allowed.
I know; I’m sad too.
To make things even worse? I haven’t tried it yet.
Now, before anything, a few of my colleagues actually tried it in our office just a few days back. We even intended to do a video on it, but well.
Here’s the more shocking thing: it should not have been since August. Read on.
(Just to be clear, none of us laosai…yet)
Importers fined; products seized
AVA released a statement to The Straits Times on 9 October 2017, saying that it has fined importers of the recent food craze here – “instant “self-heating” hotpots that contain meats“.
Products have also been confiscated.
“AVA has not approved the import of instant hotpot products containing meat such as Ba Shu Hotpot”. As AVA did not approve these products for sale, the ‘AVA certificate’ circulating online is fake,” the statement interjected.
Ba Shu Hotpot
Otherwise known as Ba Shu Lan Ren, Ba Shu Hotpot is an instant hotpot brand based in Chengdu that comes in a few mala flavours: original, rice and meat, and beef.
It’s one of several instant hotpot brands being marketed online.
The products are equipped with a heat pack that, upon activation by room-temperature water, produce enough heat to “steam a small bowl of ingredients for up to 20 minutes.”
Here, check this funny video of a group of Malaysians who didn’t follow the instructions.
“Purchase only from reputable sources”
AVA also advised the public to buy food only from reputable sources, and to practice caution when purchasing food on the net.
“Food products containing meat can be imported from only approved sources that comply with AVA food-safety standards and requirements, as these products could carry animal and food-borne diseases of public health and trade importance,” it said.
“Licensed food importers are required to ensure that the food products comply with the AVA’s food-safety requirements and standards, regardless of the channel of sale.”
10,000 individual packs were snapped up
Ba Shu Lan Ren, which launched the brand last December, told The Straits Times in July that it ships to six main suppliers in Singapore.
One of them is Joneve Trading, which had been bringing in the hotpots since February. The hotpots were such a hit that in May alone, they sold over 10,000 individual packs.
However, the firm’s co-founder, Ms Eve Lim, says that she has been told by AVA in early August to stop the import and sale of the hotpots.
If I had my way I would totally call Ms Lim to tell her that the importations have had a one day extension in deadline, just so I can get my hands on one of those golden eggs.
But nah; don’t wanna get in trouble with the law. Probably not worth it.
Those found guilty of importing food from unapproved sources could face a fine of up to $50,000, and/or jailed for up to two years for the first conviction.
For subsequent convictions, the penalty could stretch up to $100,000 and/or jailed for up to three years.
Yeah, definitely not worth it.
All in all, it’s a sad day for us hotpot fanatics.
But well, one can only hope that the products will be approved one day.
When that time comes, boy, the Mala Eater will be out in all his naked glory.
Now, my dear friends, stick to Maggi Mee. After all, according to one of my colleagues, he won’t have it again, while he’ll have more Maggie Mee every night.
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This article was first published on goodyfeed.com
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