Japan’s Chiba City has recalled 640 units of soy milk made by a Vietnamese company after finding coliform bacteria in the containers, although the manufacturer assured that the production was up to par.
Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare on March 27 said that a testing center had found coliform bacteria in 15 master cartons of Fami Calcium Soy Milk, a product of Vietnamese company Vinasoy, which was imported into Japan by Next Trading, according to NHK.
On March 28, Chiba ordered the product to be recalled and destroyed.
Next Trading said that most of the soy milk had not been sold to the public, except for some 200-milliliter packs that were distributed to a restaurant that sells Vietnamese food in Iga, Mie.
A representative of Next Trading told NHK that the company was “surprised and sorry” to learn that coliform bacteria was found in the batch as the company has done its own tests on the product based on the standards of the health ministry. The soy milk tested negative for coliform.
Vinasoy said it had learned that the importer had submitted the soy milk to a third party testing facility in Japan.
The Vietnamese company has tested other products that were made at the same manufacturing line at its factory and that nothing unusual was found. The company also sent its products to a testing facility.
Vinasoy said it has 25 years of experience in the soy industry and is the leading company in the sector in Vietnam.
It has exported to markets with high standards such as the United States, Japan and South Korea.
“Our products are manufactured in a pasteurized environment and are examined through many processes according to international standards,” the company said, adding that it would speed up the independent testing process and announce the results to the public.
Coliform bacteria, which can be found in water and feces of warm-blooded animals, does not often cause serious illness, but a person who has been exposed to them for three or four days may have an upset stomach, vomiting, fever and diarrhea.