The Foundation for Consumers, operating as ConsumerThai.org (click here) and the Consumer South Network (click here), announced the news in a report of product tests conducted on 15 outlets in the South, including Chumphon, Surat Thani, Krabi and Phuket.
The quality tests identified that Gaeng Tai Pla curry paste sold at the Khun Mae Ju store on Thepkrasattri Rd in Thalang contained 1190.45mg/kg of sorbic acid, and that Gaeng Tai Pla curry paste sold at the ‘Mae Kui’ store on Rassada-nusorn Rd north of Phuket Town contained 1107.64mg/kg of sorbic acid, explained Ms Monrudee Po-in of the Foundation for Consumers. (See report here.)
Both shops are very popular Thai tourist souvenir stores, often with buses of tourists brought to them on tours in Phuket.
Ms Monrudee pointed out that the legal limit for sorbic acid was 1,000mg/kg, as stipulated by Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) announcement no. 389/2018.
The same regulation limits the amount of benzoic acid in any products to 500mg/kg, she added.
However, Ms Monrudee did note that previous testing of products at the two stores in Phuket did not show elevated levels of preservatives.
Chalom Ketjinda of the Consumer South Network also pointed out that Gaeng Tai Pla curry paste did not require any preservatives, and called on manufacturers to stop using them in their products.
Proifon Theera-ampornpan, owner of the Mae Kui store, responded to the report, saying, “We have opened this shop for a long time with variety of products. We have the commercial registration certificate and produce our products under the hygiene regulations of Phuket City Municipality and Phuket Provincial Public Health Office.
“Officers always come to examine our products and make suggestions about how to improve our products. We do not worry about our products because we always follow officers’ suggestions,” she said.
“I am confused [about the illegal amounts of sorbic acid noiw found] because the Public Health officers have never found preservatives in our products, but this time it was found by other organisations,” she added.
“However, we will ask the health officers to examine our products again because we assure you that we do not add preservatives to our products,” she said.
Additional reporting by Eakkapop Thongtub