Hand Flower Brand Soy Sauce recalled due to undeclared food additive exceeding regulatory limit

Hand Flower Brand Soy Sauce is available on several e-commerce platforms, and at least one supermarket chain here. PHOTO: SINGAPORE FOOD AGENCY

SINGAPORE - Hand Flower Brand Soy Sauce has been recalled by the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) due to the presence of an undeclared food additive that also exceeded the regulatory limit.

SFA said on Friday night that it detected levels of benzoic acid, a food additive, that surpassed the limit for sauces stated in the Singapore Food Regulations.

"In addition, the use of benzoic acid is not declared on the food packaging label," the agency added.

The brand of soya sauce is available on several e-commerce platforms, and at least one supermarket chain here.

As a precautionary measure, SFA said it has directed the importer, Heng Yoon Trading, to recall the sauce, whose batch number is KSS0 125 and expires on July 26 next year. The recall is ongoing.

SFA said that based on the levels detected, one-off consumption of the sauce is unlikely to be of food safety concern, especially because soya sauce is not a staple food consumed at high levels.

But consumers should not eat anything that contains high levels of benzoic acid over a long period.

"This is because even though benzoic acid is a common additive which is safe when used in small quantities, studies in animals fed with high doses of benzoic acid have shown disorder of the central nervous system as well as changes in their brains," SFA explained.

It advised consumers of the sauce to seek medical advice if they have concerns over their health, and added that they may contact their point of purchase if they have inquiries.

Nine kueh manufacturers were also recently banned by the SFA after its checks on their products revealed levels of benzoic acid and sorbic acid - another food additive - that were either not allowed in certain ingredients of the kueh or surpassed regulatory limits.

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