SFA Explains Why Jian Bo Tiong Bahru Shui Kueh Was Wrongly Suspended


Jian Bo Tiong Bahru Shui Kueh disputed SFA’s decision to suspend their operations, and they actually succeeded in making SFA revoke their recall.

SFA has now stepped up to explain why the stall was wrongly suspended.

One of Nine Manufacturers Who Got Suspended

Due to the high levels of benzoic or sorbic acid detected in the kueh components, 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 is banned in kueh products except for its fillings. If it’s used in the fillings, it shouldn’t exceed the permissible limits.

Jian Bo was one of the manufacturers who were affected by Singapore Food Agency’s orders.

Sent Laboratory Findings to SFA, SFA Revoked Order

According to Jian Bo’s Facebook posts, they clarified that their products do not contain benzoic or sorbic acid.

Upon receiving the order to suspend operations from SFA, Jian Bo sent their products for laboratory tests on 26 July. The results came back negative on 27 July, which they submitted to SFA.

On 28 July, SFA replied them after reviewing the laboratory reports, and have revoked their earlier order.

SFA Explains: Gave Wrong Info Regarding Sorbic Acid

SFA released a statement on 29 July to explain the situation.

It turns out that when Jian Bo asked SFA about whether sorbic acid is allowed back in April, SFA had given Jian Bo the wrong information.

They informed the store that sorbic acid is allowed in kueh products, up to a maximum of 1,000ppm. However, this information is incorrect. It is only allowed in kueh filling, but not in kueh.

Detected Higher-Than-Permissible Levels of Sorbic Acid

Afterward, on 19 April, SFA conducted an inspection on Jian Bo. Samples of chwee kueh, nine-layer kueh and tapioca kueh were taken by the SFA for laboratory testing.

SFA then found sorbic acid that is above the permissible amount in their nine-layer kueh and tapioca kueh, which was why SFA suspended their operations on 26 July.

First of all, SFA was the one who gave the wrong information, yet they’re suspending the store over it.

Secondly, Jian Bo said that their products are free from sorbic acid…? Then where did these test results come from?


However, on 27 July, Jian Bo sent SFA test results from an accredited third-party lab that showed that their current production does not contain sorbic acid. SFA then lifted the suspension, since “adequate measures have since been put in place, in compliance with Singapore Food Regulations”.

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Apologised for Miscommunication

“We regret the miscommunication to Tiong Bahru Tian Bo Shui Kueh that had given them the wrong impression that up to 1,000ppm of sorbic acid was permitted in the production of their kueh products,” stated SFA.

They will be reviewing internal procedures to ensure that their food safety requirements will be properly communicated to food manufacturers in the future.

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Featured Image: Facebook (Jian Bo Tiong Bahru Shui Kueh)