China’s state news agency Xinhua reported yesterday that an employee of the company (based in Shanxi Province) told local media on Tuesday that nine batches of products became contaminated with chlorine as a result of routine pipe maintenance work.
Some retailers then refused to purchase beverages from the company as the story spread on line, although Coca-Cola Shanxi denied the claim and said it would affirm its legal rights.
The Shanxi Province Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision said that the batches in question comprised 121,058 cases of beverages produced between February 4 and 8.
As of Tuesday, 76,391 cases had been sold, while the rest still remain in the company's hands.
But an investigation and analysis of products conducted by the Food Quality Safety Supervision Testing Institute of Shanxi Province and the Shanxi Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Technology Center found that the batches in question were safe to consume.
Yesterday, the Shanxi Provincial Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision said that chlorine levels within the allegedly contaminated batches were lower than that of purified drinking water, and that the beverages were safe for consumption.
Fu Yingwen, director of the inspection and quarantine centre, said: "Drinking small amounts of chloric beverages won't hurt people, but large amounts can."
A Coca-Cola Shanxi spokesperson told Xinhua that the investigation and analysis showed that its beverages were safe.