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Sparkling sake recalled in Japan, Singapore and Macau over health risks

Thousands of bottles of sake have been recalled in Japan, Macau and Singapore after kidney health concerns were raised over its colouring agent.

Sparkling sake recalled in Japan, Singapore and Macau over health risks

On 23 March Takara Shuzo Co. announced the recall of almost 100,000 bottles of its Mio Premium Rosé in Japan.

The Kyoto-based manufacturer recalled about 18,000 750ml bottles and 78,000 300ml bottles of Mio Premium Rosé after concerns were raised over the ingredient used to give the drink its pink hue.

Mio Premium Rosé sake contains a red yeast rice known as ‘beni koji’, an ingredient also used as a health supplement.

No health problems have been reported in direct association with Mio Premium Rosé since it was launched in January. However, Takara Shuzo Co. is withdrawing the sake at the request of Kobayashi Pharmaceutical, the pharmaceutical company which produces beni koji, following complaints about kidney problems associated with the consumption of the supplement.

According to The Asahi Shimbun, Kobayashi Pharmaceutical has recalled 300,000 units of its five products containing beni koji, including the Benikoji Coleste Help supplement, following reports of health problems.

The company has reported that 26 people have been hospitalised for kidney problems after consuming products containing the red yeast rice.

Overseas recall

The alarm has also been raised in export markets where Mio Premium Rosé sake is available.

The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) has said that as a precautionary measure, it has directed Pan Pacific Retail Management (Singapore), the importer of the product in the country, to recall Mio Premium Rosé. The recall is ongoing.

Pan Pacific Retail Management (Singapore) has voluntarily recalled Mio Sparkling Sake Premium (Rose) (750 ml) and Mio Sparkling Sake Premium (Rose) (300ml), following a voluntary recall of the two products in Japan by the manufacturer, Takara Shuzo International Co Ltd.

Macau’s Municipal Affairs Bureau (IAM) has also warned the public in the region to stop drinking the Japanese-made sparkling sake, according to The Macau Post Daily.

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