SINGAPORE - A claim that a locally manufactured grass jelly or chin chow product is made of plastic is false, supermarket chain NTUC FairPrice told The Straits Times on Monday (May 15).
A man identifying himself as Vincent Ng had said in a viral video circulating online that the Tan Soon Mui grass jelly he bought from FairPrice was "made of plastic".
The 1min 38sec video shows what appears to be dry, flaky grass jelly, instead of the usual smooth dark product.
"Look, this is what we got from NTUC," says the man. "Look, all these are plastic."
The post has been widely shared on social media.
A FairPrice spokesman told ST that it has clarified with the local manufacturer and found that the claim is false.
"We understand also that the manufacturer has made a police report over the post," said the spokesman. "Checks on existing batches do not reveal any abnormalities and samples have been sent for further lab tests as well."
FairPrice added that the grass jelly manufacturer has advised that freezing and thawing the product may affect its texture and consistency.
FairPrice had on Saturday (May 13) afternoon said in a Facebook post that it was in contact with its supplier over the viral video.
In its post, the supermarket chain asked the creator of the video to contact it directly and provide an actual sample of the product to aid investigations.
However, the FairPrice spokesman told ST on Monday that it "has yet to establish a connection with this customer".
A spokesman for Sheng Siong told ST that the supermarket chain also carries this brand in its stores.
"So far we have not received any complaints but we will monitor the situation closely," said the spokesman. "Customers who are in doubt may bring the grass jelly product back to our stores for an exchange."
The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) told ST on Monday that it is aware of the case and is investigating.
"We urge the public to refrain from speculating or sharing unverified claims as they may cause unnecessary alarm," said the AVA spokesman.
FairPrice also said it would like to advise the public "not to further circulate unfounded or unverified information which may cause unnecessary public alarm".
"Our supplier is currently working with the authorities on the matter," it said. "We take the opportunity also to remind the public to be mindful of information spread on social media and online platforms, and encourage all to verify information directly with the source when in doubt."
Consumers who wish to make clarifications may contact the supermarket chain directly at its customer relations hotline at 6552 2722, via e-mail at email@example.com, or post a comment on its Facebook page.