The arrest of four Vietnamese vendors selling fake orange juices in not only raise public awareness of buying the plastic bottles drinks on streets, but also prompt labour officials to tighten control on foreign workers granted working permits in the country.
They are not allowed to do other jobs that are reserved for Thais by law, such as food vendors.
Many vendors now reported sharp drop in the selling of bottled juices, not only orange, after news of selling fake orange juice by a Vietnamese couple went viral on the social media.
Now regular customers were hesitated to buy but would ask if the juice was real orange, one street vendor complained.
In response to public suspicion of how to differentiate real and fake orange juice, the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has given some recommendations to consumers.
FDA deputy secretary general Dr Phaisal Dunkum recommended that the public should observe the label on the bottle before purchasing bottled juices.
The bottle should show the FDA label and consumers should also inquire from the seller about how and where the orange juice was sourced.
Notice on the label that 100% real orange juice should not have any food preservatives in their ingredients.
The color of the juice itself should not be too dark and the taste should be naturally sweet nor have any artificial sweeteners of any kind.
But the FDA deputy chief admitted that this is very difficult for consumers to do but he recommended this for the consumer’s safety.
He said the FDA does not prohibit adding artificial colouring, sweeteners nor other additives but should not exceed the limit.
In addition to safety, he said the question of hygiene is also a concern.
Most orange juice vendors sell on the streets or markets where preparation of the juice can be easily contaminated.
The public should become more informed and cautious the next time they buy their juice. They should be more discerning who they buy from and be careful of how it was prepared.
The public could also send samples to the FDA if they are not sure of the juice they bought and drank.
Health Officials Put The Squeeze on OJ Gate
Pattaya City Officials are investigating the recent complaints about a local orange juice vendor who was putting tap water in his juice and selling it for 20 baht/bottle.
Miss Suteera Timthong, 26 yrs orange juice vendor said that she bought her products from the accused vendor, who is also the manufacturer, and knew his name to be Mr. Nong Pu.
She was aware that his juices were not pure orange juice but that the process was hygienic. After the incident, her sales volume was reduced so she would want the man in the clip, Mr. Nong Pu, arrested.
Later on, Mr. Rattanachai Suthidechanai Board of Tourism and Culture, Pattaya with Mrs. Bupha announced to the press and other related parties at Pattaya Municipality Office, that after collecting 6 samples from Bali Hai Pier and Floating Market a preliminary test for Coliform Bacteria, has not found anything fatal.
However, to test to see if the juices are 100% pure, the samples needed to be sent to the Department of Medical Sciences at the Ministry of Public Health which will take around 1 week for the result.
She also added that there are 3 types of Orange Juice, 100% orange juice, not 100%, and last is acid mixed with water which is dangerous to consumers.
For the solution of this matter, she said she will call the meeting among all orange juice vendors and ask them to register with FDA. Vendors who do not cooperate with the request, will be targeted with legal matters.
Pattaya Official Collects Orange Juice SamplePattaya officers went to inspect orange juice vendors in local market in order to collect some samples to test.
Suthira Timing 26-year-old orange juice vendor said that she sells orange drink that she buys from another vendor. She added that her sale has been affected after the video was posted and shared on social media.
Buppha said that the officers collected 6 samples of orange juice from Grand Hall and Bali Hai pier to test in lab. The officers performed the initial test, they didn’t find any dangerous substance. However, the samples should be sent to Department of Medical Science in order to determine whether it is real or fake. She added that there are 3 categories of orange juice 1. 100% 2. orange drink 3. orange drink which is made by mixing acetic acid with water and this category is dangerous.
In addition, the officers aim to summon the orange juice vendor to discuss about the issue and the officers would demonstrate how to produce clean juice and maintaining. The vendor would have to register with BangLamung public health officer so that they would be allowed to sell. The vendor who will not obey the strict rule would have to be prosecuted.