A Hong Kong local tea shop well-known for its Guangdong herbal tea products has been exposed to have sold Guiling Jelly with mold and a later test shows the main ingredient needed for the production has been excluded.
The test, conducted by Department of Biology and Chemistry of Hong Kong’s City University selected samples from four health dessert brands including Hoi Tin Tong (海天堂), Hui Lau Shan(许留山), Healthworks and Kung Wo Tung(恭和堂). The result shows that turtle shell, a main ingredient for producing Guiling Jelly is not contained in Hoi Tin Tong’s Guiling products.
In August, a video on Hong Kong’s Apple Daily reveals that a Hoi Tin Tong chain shop in Guangdong was selling customers spoiled jelly after washing out the mold on its surface.
Guiling Jelly, or Guilingao(龟苓膏), is a Chinese medicine made with three-lined box turtles and a variety of herbal products, in particular, China roots Smilax glabra and is always used as a dessert. It is thought to be good for the skin by nourishing yin and clearing heat and is especially popular in South China.
According to Choi Kuok Keong, the whistleblower that firstly disclosed the videos online who claimed himself as a former manager of the company, Hoi Tin Tong does not execute a high standard in its package that prevents the jelly from getting spoiled in humid weather.
In a presser on September 11, Ng Yiu Ming, chairman of Hoi Tin Tong denied that the company ever sells food that passes expiration dates and questioned the reliability of the video.
Ko Wing Man, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Food and Health said yesterday that inspectors have been dispatched to collect samples from Hoi Tin Tong’s shops and the bureau is still waiting for results of the tests.