Multiple Kueh Products from Different Companies Recalled in S’pore

In a statement issued on Wednesday (27 Jul), the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) has suspended the operations of nine kueh manufacturers after detecting high amounts of food additives in their products, and also separately ordered the recall of two food items.

The suspension will continue until further notice.

Who Are The Affected Manufacturers?

Due to the high levels of benzoic or sorbic acid detected in the kueh components , the following nine manufacturers have been ordered to suspend their operations.

The two acids are common food additives to preserve food. They are safe for consumption, but only in small quantities.

Under Singapore’s food regulations, the use of benzoic or sorbic acids are banned in kueh products except for its fillings. If it’s used in the fillings, it shouldn’t exceed the permissible limits.

Without further ado, the affected manufacturers are:

  1. Toh Chuan Kee Foodstuff: kueh lapis, mochi skin
  2. Tongli Food Manufacturing: yam cake
  3. AMK Nonya Kueh: kueh lapis, red bean kueh lapis, black sesame kueh lapis, yam kueh lapis, kueh salat, tapioca kueh, sweet potato kueh
  4. Chit Guan Foodstuff: ang ku kueh
  5. Delight Baker: pulut hitam, kueh lapis, chendol kueh, tapioca kueh
  6. Thomson Foodstuff Manufacturing: huat kueh
  7. Sin Hwa Coconuts: ondeh-ondeh, tapioca kueh
  8. Tiong Bahru Tian Bo Shui Kueh: chwee kueh, nine-layer kueh, tapioca kueh
  9. Lim Food Industries: peng kueh, soon kueh

Never knew there were so many kueh flavours, but the more you know, one supposes.

SFA’s most recent move comes after the suspension of two kueh manufacturers in March, namely K&B Nonya Kueh Manufacture and Beng San Food Industry, due to the detection of benzoic acid in their kueh products.

Although consuming the affected products once or twice is still safe, consumers should refrain from consuming food with high levels of benzoic and sorbic acid over an extended period of time.

It’s well-established in the food industry that benzoic and sorbic acids are cheap and easy to produce, and they tend to be used as antimicrobial and antifungal preservatives.

However, studies in animals fed with high doses of these acids have shown signs of nervous system disorders, changes in the brains and reduced growth.

None of the consequences sound appealing in the slightest.

For consumers who have ingested the implicated products and have worries regarding their health, SFA advises that these consumers should seek medical advice.

If consumers are unsure, they can contact their retailers to ask if their products come from the affected manufacturers.

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Two Food Products Recalled

Besides kueh products, SFA has also recalled “Best One” Assorted Cake (banana flavour) and Bake King’s mixed fruit.

Apparently, the banana flavour cake contained sorbic acid that exceeded the permissible limit, while sulphur dioxide, an undeclared allergen, was discovered in Bake King’s mixed fruits.

Just an FYI, sulphur dioxide is one of the worst smelling and most choking gases you will ever be exposed to in Secondary School chemistry. Now imagine that in your food.

When sulphur dioxide is found in excess in food products, they can result in allergenic reactions in people who are hypersensitive to sulphites.

While it doesn’t pose as a health risk to consumers at large, it does affect those allergic to sulphites badly, especially if the allergen isn’t brought to their attention in the ingredients.

Symptoms of allergic reactions include hives, itchiness, stomachaches, diarrhoea and vomiting.

Hence, products containing ingredients that are known to cause hypersensitivity have to be declared on food packaging labels to safeguard public health. 

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Featured Image: Facebook & Singapore Food Agency