Product scandals in Singapore


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by Chua Wei Ling

We see it on the news often – product recalls due to safety issues or even health issues. For the past few years, Taiwan has been the country topping primetime news with their product recalls, especially on food safety issues such as their pesticide-laced tea leaves or even tainted oil incidents. However, while they seem to be far away from us, the repercussions of all these product recalls have hit us in some ways too. Here are 5 items from well-known brand names that have been recalled in Singapore.


Screen Shot 2015-07-23 at 12.23.20 pmChi Mei Dumplings

A well-known company in Taiwan for their frozen dim sum, dumplings as well as other foodstuffs, Chi Mei’s products were embroiled in the tainted oil incident of 2014. As such, the AVA of Singapore pulled all their products off the shelves. In Taiwan, nearly all their products were also taken off the shelves nationwide, and sales of the products were halted for nearly a month or so. Despite changing the supplier for their oil, public confidence with the brand is still very low.

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Fairprice Baby Wipes

Supposedly “Alcohol Free”, this product recently caused alarm to parents when an eagle-eyed parent spotted “Benzyl Alcohol” stated as one of the ingredients. For infants and young children, commercially produced Benzyl Alcohol is harmful with repeated usage. Currently, Fairprice is investigating this report, although interestingly, the same house-brand baby wipes in packet form do not contain the same ingredients, and are not produced in the same country as these, although they share the same logo etc.

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Ikea Products

A year after an Ikea chest fatally injured two boys when it tipped over and fell onto them, Ikea had received 14 other reports of the same model tipping over and causing four more injuries. As such, the furniture giant recalled the range of chests and dressers, and issued a free kit to help existing customers mount the furniture onto a wall. This will mark the largest recall ever in Ikea’s history, although this is not the first. In 2014, Ikea recalled the GUNGGUNG children’s swing for risk of serious injury as well.

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H&M issued a recall for their foam footballs that were sold in the Baby Department of their stores worldwide, as the foam breaks into small parts when bitten, pinched or torn, posing a choking hazard for children. Sold for about a month in store here in Singapore, three reports had been made, which resulted in the recall. Thankfully, no injuries were reported.

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In 2014, Valore recalled two models of their power banks after there were reports of overheating when charging as well as discharging. This came in the wake of scares following reports of exploding handphone batteries, and one case of smoke emitted from a person’s bag due to an overheated power bank on the East-West line of SMRT.