A Chinese government quality assurance body reported on Monday that it had ordered the destruction of 3.4 tonnes of Hong Kong-produced Nissin instant noodles after excessive levels of Coliform bacteria were detected in the products in May.

The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine (AQSIQ) identified and barred the import of a shipment of two sets of products. The products were originally produced in Hong Kong, according to Chinese newspaper National Business Daily.

nissin factory tai po instant noodles
Nissin Factory in Tai Po. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The shipment of Black Garlic Oil Tonkotsu Flavour and Tokyo Shoyu Tonkotsu Flavour Instant Noodles were destroyed at the port, according to a statement reported by Ming Pao.

Nissin Foods told HKFP that the same batch of products thereafter passed internal quality inspection tests.  The products are not sold in Hong Kong.

instant noodles hong kong supermarket
Nissin instant noodles. The two batches of products identified to have an excess of Coliform are not sold in Hong Kong.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Additionally, two sets of products from Jiang Su Hai Qi Chang Cheng Gu Fen Co. Ltd., were also reportedly destroyed after the company failed to obtain the necessary certification and their shelf-life expired.

Hong Kong’s Centre for Food Safety is following up with Nissin Foods and AQSIQ. In a statement to HK01, the Centre said that it undertakes regular quality assurance tests at the import, distribution, and retail stages. From 2014 to 2016, 177 samples of instant noodles – some of which were produced by Nissin – tested satisfactorily for human consumption.

As a company, Nissin Foods operates a dual system of quality management and testing between its Global Food Safety Institute and individual production factories.

In May, Nissin Foods spun off its China and Hong Kong businesses and applied for their listing as an independent company to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Proceeds from the listing are expected to be about HK$1.556 billion, according to AAStock.

Correction 11/7: A previous version of this article stated that the bacteria detected in the two identified products was E. coli. In fact, the bacteria identified was Coliform.

Jun Pang is an independent writer and researcher. She has previously worked in NGOs advocating for refugees' and migrants' rights in Asia and Europe.