Chinese authorities have ordered a temporary end to production at a Coca-Cola bottling plant over production line “problems” - just weeks after confirming the safety of beverage products from the plant.
The order to cease production and apply corrective measures at Coca-Cola Shanxi Beverages was issued by the Shanxi Provincial Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision. It follows a investigation by the authority in April sparked by a tip-off from an employee.
The worker, who has remained anonymous, told a local media that nine batches of beverage products from the plant were contaminated with chlorine as a result of pipe maintenance work.
Chlorine, which is used in water treatment to kill bacteria, can be hazardous to human health at high levels.
Coca-Cola Shanxi Beverages has since implemented corrective measures and has issued a statement guaranteeing the safety of products from its plant, according to state media agency Xinhua.
Other production problems
“The Shanxi Provincial Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision ordered the company to cease production for rectification on April 28,” said the Xinhua report.
“The bureau said that it has found other problems with the company’s production lines.”
The cease and assist order follows a statement from the company, admitting that some of its products were contaminated with chlorine in February 2012.
Concerns were voiced about nine batches manufactured at the plant between 4 and 8 February after it emerged that water containing small amounts of chlorine flowed into water used for producing drinks during maintenance.
The Shanxi Province Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision later confirmed that products supplied by the firm were safe to consume.
Despite this, some retailers in the province have since refused to purchase beverages from the company.
Addressed major issues
An official at the Shanxi-based bottling plant has since confirmed that measures to correct the issues have been implemented.
“We have moved quickly to address the major issues identified by the Shanxi Provincial Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision,” said company official Su Yan.