Dead Fly Found Inside Sealed Bottle of Chinese Alcohol
A foreign substance presumed to be an insect was found in a new, unopened bottle of Chinese liquor.
According to Yonhap News on the 30th, Mr. A, living in Incheon, ordered the liquor at a restaurant in Seoul last September and found foreign matter inside the bottle.
Mr. A said, “There was a strange object in the bottle, and upon closer inspection, it turned out to be a dead fly,” adding, “As I had not opened the bottle before, I am sure it was originally there, not contaminated by me.”
He added, “A friend who joined me for dinner contacted the importer about the issue, but their response was lackadaisical. I reported it to raise awareness about food safety.”
In the photo of the liquor that A claimed to have purchased, there is a black object, presumed to be an insect, inside the unopened bottle. This object, about 0.79 inches in body length, has a long snout, six legs, and a pair of wings, resembling a fly.
The liquor in question is known to be produced in a local factory in China and distributed in Korea through a domestic importer. The importer promotes on its website that it has received rigorous production management and quality certifications such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) standards, assuring consumers that it is safe to drink.
The importer stated, “We tried to actively take follow-up measures, including detailed investigation through product recall and negotiation of compensation after the customer complaint related to the foreign substance was received,” adding, “However, the other party was uncooperative in resolving the issue and demanded excessive monetary compensation. We are responding according to the established procedure.”
An official from the importer said, “We initially offered a box of liquor, but we heard that they are asking for 100 million won (approximately $85,000) as compensation. We tried to converse, but we had no way to meet the person and couldn’t even confirm the product.”
In response, Mr. A refuted, “The demand of 100 million won was not made by me. The restaurant owner who sold us the liquor told the importer that ‘compared to the Chinese beer factory urine incident, the compensation would make sense if it is 100 million won.’ I never suggested a specific compensation amount,” and emphasized, “The importer continued to treat the complaint as a malicious complaint and distorted my intention. That’s why I decided to report it regardless of compensation.”
Meanwhile, manufacturers or cooking establishments found to be negligent in foreign substance contamination can be penalized for violating the Food Sanitation Act. The current law stipulates that food and food additives that do not meet standards and specifications should not be sold, manufactured, imported, processed, used, cooked, stored, divided, transported, preserved, or displayed for sale.
The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety imposes administrative measures such as corrective orders, product manufacturing suspension, and product disposal on violating manufacturers depending on the degree of foreign substances and negligence.
The person responsible can be sentenced to up to 5 years in prison or fined up to 50 million won (approximately $42,500), but it is difficult to hold the company or establishment responsible if the cause and responsibility of the foreign substance are not clarified.
By. Jong Ho Lee