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Hand Flower brand soy sauce has been recalled after the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) detected benzoic acid, a food additive, at levels exceeding the regulatory limit for sauces stated in the Singapore Food Regulations.
In addition, the use of benzoic acid is not declared on the food packaging label.
As a precautionary measure, SFA has directed the importer, Heng Yoon Trading, to recall the implicated product. The recall is ongoing.
Under the Singapore Food Regulations, only permitted food additives with levels within the maximum levels are allowed for use in food.
Based on the levels detected, once off consumption of the affected product is unlikely to be of food safety concern, especially because soy sauce is not a staple food consumed at high levels.
Consumers should not consume food containing high levels of benzoic acid over a long period of time.
This is because even though benzoic acid is a common additive which is safe when used in small quantities, studies in animals fed with high doses of benzoic acid have shown disorder of the central nervous system as well as changes in their brains.
Consumers who have consumed the implicated product and have concerns about their health should seek medical advice. Consumers may contact their point of purchase for enquiries.