Singapore

AVA fines importers of Ba Shu Hotpot, products seized

Importers of instant "self-heating" hotpots that contain meat have landed in hot water.

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) has fined importers of the latest food craze here and seized the products, the agency said in a statement to The Straits Times yesterday.

"AVA has not approved the import of instant hotpot products containing meat such as Ba Shu Hotpot," the statement said.

"As AVA did not approve these products for sale, the 'AVA certificate' circulating online is fake."

ST understands that the certificate AVA referred to is a licence issued to a Ba Shu Hotpot supplier to import processed food products and appliances, but with the product's logo superimposed on it.

Ba Shu Hotpot, otherwise known as Ba Shu Lan Ren, is one of several instant hotpot brands being sold online on websites such as Qoo10 and Shopee Singapore, as well as shopping app Carousell.

The products come with a heat pack that, when activated by room-temperature water, generates enough heat to steam a small bowl of ingredients for up to 20 minutes.

In its statement, AVA advised the public to purchase food from reputable sources and to exercise discretion when buying food online.

Those convicted of importing food from unapproved sources can be fined up to $50,000 and/or jailed for up to two years for the first conviction.

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