Hong Kong's 7-Eleven chain to stop selling Chun Cui He milk tea

The popular Taiwanese Chun Cui He drinks seen at a Hong Kong 7-Eleven store.
The popular Taiwanese Chun Cui He drinks seen at a Hong Kong 7-Eleven store. ST PHOTO: JOYCE LIM
Popular Taiwanese bottled milk tea Chun Cui He, or Just Drink- Milk Tea, has been recalled in Singapore for containing a food additive that is not permitted.
Popular Taiwanese bottled milk tea Chun Cui He, or Just Drink- Milk Tea, has been recalled in Singapore for containing a food additive that is not permitted.PHOTO: CHUN CUI HE/FACEBOOK

HONG KONG - Hong Kong's 7-Eleven chain is in the process of recalling all Chun Cui He milk tea from its stores across the city, after Singapore found "a problem" with the drink, a 7-Eleven staff told The Straits Times.

The instruction to remove the beverage from its shelves across the city came on Tuesday (Aug 23), the staff said.

When The Straits Times visited a 7-Eleven store at the New Territories on Tuesday night, the drink was still available for sale.

The Hong Kong 7-Eleven chain carries about five types of beverages from Chun Cui He, including coffee, but it is stopping only the sale of the milk tea, after learning about how it was banned in Singapore.

On Tuesday, The Straits Times reported that Chun Cui He - also known as Just Drink milk tea - was taken off the shelves in Singapore after the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) found the drink to contain L-theanine, a food additive not permitted in Singapore.

 
 
 

L-theanine is currently not a banned food additive in Hong Kong, said the Centre for Food Safety in an Apple Daily report.

The food additives, which were imported from Japan, is also legal under Taiwanese law, the milk tea Taichung-based manufacturer Bifido said in a statement on Tuesday.

Chun Cui He, which comes in several flavours, is commonly sold in Taiwanese convenience stores and is a hit with tourists.

Bifido told The Straits Times that it was notified of the AVA recall only on Tuesday but is working with Abana to get L-theanine approved.

"We will be more than happy to provide any information that the AVA requires to get the product permitted," said the company.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 24, 2016, with the headline ''. Print Edition | Subscribe