Coca Cola apologises to China
Coca-Cola apologised to the Chinese authorities, media and public after a manufacturing mistake occurred leading to chlorine-contaminated drinks entering the market.
The company’s apology comes after local media reported that nine batches of beverage products were tainted with chlorine due to an error that occurred during routine pipe maintenance work.
The firm has confirmed that the contamination happened when employees opened the valve between the beverage processing water pipe and the daily use water pipe.
David G. Brooks, Coca-Cola Greater China and Korea president, said that the company was sorry for the concern caused by the error.
He said: “We regret that our high standards for quality, integrity and collaboration were not met by some individuals during recent events at our Shanxi bottling plant. These issues were isolated to this on plant in China.
“We have taken a number of corrective actions to address these matters, and we will redouble our efforts to encourage all our people to work in accordance with our values”.
The Shanxi Provincial Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision (SPBQTS) investigated the case and confirmed that the products were safe but, however, commanded the production to halt whilst ‘corrective measures’ were implemented at the plant.
China’s state media outlet, Xinhua, reported of the plant’s general manager resigning and several employees being suspended due to the incident.
Nevertheless, the company expects to resume production soon saying that “changes have already been made to key management positions at the Shanxi plant”.
Mr Brooks added: “We apologise for causing concern to the local community, whose trust and loyalty are the cornerstones of our business”.
He also apologised for the company failing to give a report on time about the situation to the superintendent department, the media and the public.
Regarding the batches, 120,000 cases of beverages were comprised at the company according to the SPBQTS. From the 120,000, around 76,000 were distributed whilst the rest remained at the firm.
Chlorine, which is used in water to eliminate bacteria, can be dangerous for humans at high levels.
Despite being contaminated, the batches were confirmed to have been safe for consumption. The food safety and quality authorities conducted tests that discovered that chlorine levels in the products were lower than the purified water used.