According to Nguyen Van Nhien, the ministry’s deputy chief inspector, two batches of Universal Robaina Corporation’s C2 lemon green tea and three batches of Rong Do strawberry energy drink were found to have quantities of lead above the permissible level of 0.05mg per litre.
URC Vietnam has subsequently been ordered to submit sales and production reports for the product lines to the ministry and issue a recall.
The inspectorate will look into food safety issues at the company, including ingredients, additives, water sources and detergents that the drink maker uses to produce its beverages.
The investigation follows the leaking of a test report from May 7 which stated that the lead content of a sample of citric acid used by URC Vietnam stood at 0.84mg/kg, sparking concern among consumers as to the safety of C2 and Rong Do.
However a representative of URC Vietnam reporters that it suspected competitors of trying to disrupt its business.
URC is one of the largest consumer food and beverage companies in the Philippines. Its Vietnamese unit is among four major beverage makers to undergo a comprehensive review by the health ministry this year.
The other three companies are Coca-Cola Vietnam, Suntory PepsiCo Vietnam Beverage, and Wonderfarm, known for such products as winter melon tea, passion fruit drink and bird’s nests.