Nestlé Philippines has completed its Quality Assurance tests and the results have been discussed with Shirlie Jane Navarro, whose post on a hardened matter she found in CHUCKIE 180 ml with batch code 51540189TE has been circulating in Facebook.
Nestlé Quality Assurance (QA) experts did a compositional analysis on the hardened matter and found it to be coagulated milk, with protein, fat, and calcium components.
Spoilage and coagulation happen when milk gets into contact with air and heat for some time, allowing exposure to harsh elements in the environment. With exposure to the harsh elements in the environment, microorganisms, including fungi, can enter the product and cause the product to spoil.
Just like any food product, milk, when spoiled, develops an off-odor and an off-flavor. Its texture and appearance also change, leading to separation of liquid and to curdling/coagulation, such as what was seen on the photos posted by Shirlie Jane.
DAMAGED PACK AND HEALTH EFFECTS
Upon testing the packaging of the product from Shirlie Jane, Nestlé QA experts detected a hole on the pack, which could have allowed air and heat to enter, resulting in the product’s spoilage and coagulation.
On the concern of Shirlie Jane about the health effects on the Grade 7 student who bought the product from her store and ingested a small amount of the spoiled product, Nestlé Philippines Medical Director Dr. Josephine Yuson-Sunga, a licensed pediatrician and clinical epidemiologist, said that based on the laboratory tests of the complaint product, there was no growth of harmful microorganisms that can cause serious illness to the child. “Clinically, there were also no manifestations of diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain and fever, which are usual manifestations associated with ingesting spoiled foods. Hence, the possibility of long term health effects is remote,” she explained.
NO ABNORMALITY IN THE MANUFACTURING PROCESS
Nestlé Philippines Consumer Engagement Services Head Aurora Alipao said Nestlé takes consumer complaints very seriously, so each consumer complaint is investigated thoroughly using the Nestlé 3-way test to determine the cause of a reported complaint.
“We can assure you that the safety and quality of our products are non-negotiable priorities for us at Nestlé. In the case of Shirlie Jane’s concern, we immediately started an investigation into the matter after it was reported,” Ms. Alipao said, adding that when Nestlé saw Shirlie Jane’s post on the evening of August 4, Nestlé Consumer Engagement Services immediately reached out to Shirlie Jane.
“As part of our strict quality control processes, we keep samples of every batch of products we manufacture in our factories,” Ms. Alipao explained. “Nestlé Quality Assurance experts immediately examined the complaint product from Shirlie Jane and compared it with the products with the same batch code which we keep in the factory for reference. If the cause of the problem came from the factory, the reference products would also have coagulated by this time. All tests showed that the reference products meet all our quality standards and are free of any traces of coagulation,” Ms. Alipao said.
Aside from testing the reference products, Nestlé also gathered and tested samples of CHUCKIE 180 ml with the same batch code from stores. All store samples were found to be normal and free of any traces of coagulation.
“We also subjected the samples from stores to package integrity tests to determine the physical condition of the packs, and all samples tested negative for leaks. The test results confirm that spoilage does not occur if the package integrity of the product is maintained.”
If the hole on the pack was the result of a defective manufacturing process, it would have been replicated in the reference and trade products of the same batch code. The finding that the reference and trade products are normal indicates that the complaint product suffered from the hole after it was released from the factory.
Product packaging plays an important role in preserving the quality and nutritional value of any product, Ms. Alipao said. “To ensure you get only the highest quality product, please make sure the pack is in good condition before you buy it, which means there are no leaks, no excessive dents, the carton is clean, dry and not bloated, and the straw hole is intact. Also be mindful of the expiration date, usually found on top of the carton or at the back of the pack.”
For any queries or concerns on Nestlé products, Ms. Alipao urges consumers to call the Nestlé 24/7 hotline at 898-0061 (Metro Manila) or its toll free number 1-800-100-NESTLÉ (637853). “We exist for our consumers and we are here to listen 24/7,” she said.
Nestlé also assures consumers that it has strict quality control procedures in place throughout the manufacturing process to ensure that its products meet the highest quality standards when they are released from the factory.