- Lianhe Zaobao
Singapore authorities have instructed a recall of the Mycafe Penang Durian White Coffee product, following reports of people falling ill after consuming the product in Malaysia.
The product was sent for testing by Malaysian authorities last week when five people were hospitalised after consuming the instant coffee.
Of the victims, two security guards were filmed in a semi-conscious state after allegedly drinking the coffee offered to them by someone else.
A witness said that one of the men had complained feeling dizzy and drunk, while the other became “hysterical” and fainted after drinking the coffee.
The video subsequently went viral and many Malaysian stores reacted by removing the product from their shelves.
On Sunday (Feb 4), Bernama reported that another two people had reported the same side effects after consuming instant coffee offered to them.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam reportedly said: “It seems there is some kind of syndicate giving away coffee sachets which contain drugs.”
“People must be careful, do not accept anything from strangers,” he added.
In response, the product’s manufacturer said on Facebook that they had investigated a victim’s case and found that the packaging of the coffee she consumed was tampered with.
The company also provided photos of the differences they found in the tampered packets.
“From the coffee packaging that we have collected from the victim, we noticed that the packaging was tampered with as it appears different from our own coffee packaging including the weight,” the company said, adding that a police report has since been made.
The product has not been recalled by Malaysian authorities as there was no evidence of the drugs in the official product, The Star reported.
“(U)ntil we have stronger evidence to incriminate the producers, we do not have any immediate intention to withdraw it from the shelves in stores,” Dr Subramaniam was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, Singapore’s Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) said in a statement over the weekend that consumers who have purchased the product can return them to the retailer.
The authority will also be conducting its own tests on samples.
“Consumers who do not feel well after consuming any food products should seek medical attention. As a good food safety practice, when in doubt of the safety of a food product, do not consume,” AVA said.