At noon on 6.7, following the smelly black water channel on To Hieu Street, P.Hiep Tan, Tan Phu District, we went to Thong Phat Coffee Roaster (No. 108 – Lot 4, To Hieu, P. Hiep Tan, Tan Phu District). The facility is like a warehouse, built with old iron and steel roof, on an area of more than 500 m2. On the right hand side of the facility, accounting for two thirds of the area, is the place where hundreds of sacks of soybeans are stored; the rest is enough for 3 roasters and 1 small room to store chemicals.
For food processing facilities, hygiene must be at the forefront, but this place is not hygienic at all. In the heat of the hot sun, the inside was even hotter by 3 fiery roasters operating at full capacity. The strange thing is that although there is no coffee beans in the facility and around it, the aroma of aromatic coffee spreads throughout the area … “Coffee processing facility, but I can find any coffee beans” – one of the workers here laughed and said naturally without reservation. We thought it was a joke, but after a while of observation, we realized that the worker was telling the truth. Yet, every day, this facility still produces tons of coffee to supply the market.
The production process is unsanitary – Photo: Dam Huy
A worker said, 3 roasters here have a capacity of 250 kg / batch / piece. First, the soy beans are put into the roast to burn black, then pour into a large plastic container. Then, pour into a plastic container a pre-mixed black chemical mixture (depending on the customer’s request, the establishment owner impregnated with a thicker or lighter flavor).
All soybeans and chemicals are added to the rotary oven to absorb chemicals into each bean. Finished soy beans were poured into a large tray made of corrugated iron placed on the ground, some workers gathered to use shovels to beat and mix continuously; then use a drying fan to prevent stickiness. At this time, the soybean seed turned black just like the color of the coffee bean, even though it was not coffee, but the aroma of coffee came to the nose …
At Thong Phat establishment, it can be said that the most frightening stage is the preparation of unknown chemicals together to impregnate soybeans after roasting. We saw the workers use plastic shavings to scoop the black water into the soy beans. To get this black mix, we see workers mixing a variety of chemicals, some of which are from unlabeled plastic cans.
We have recorded many stages of processing soybeans into “coffee”. There are workers involved in processing here, with shorts and some shirtless; Absolutely not gloves, masks … Even the tools used here are too old, close to many layers of black, looks very unsanitary. Witnessing the water, chemicals, and soy beans sprawling all over the floor during processing, we couldn’t help but shudder to imagine holding a cup of coffee.
After investigating and recording the processing of powdered coffee of roasted, ground coffee, and cereal Thong Phat, we collaborated with the Inspector of the Department of Health of Ho Chi Minh City to conduct a facility inspection. yesterday 16.7. At the time of testing, there were hundreds of bags of ingredients made of soybeans and corn to make “coffee” piled here, many of which sprawled across the pitch black floor. Besides chemicals, raw materials to soak marinated soybeans, corn such as pigments, chemical sugar, butter, wine … also to indiscriminate.
If anyone witnessed the coffee processing scene here, they would never dare to drink coffee of unknown origin anymore. Because, toilets are located in the production area; soybeans, corn after being soaked in chemicals, drying … are made in very dirty squares on the floor so that the workers can use the table to move back and forth. Going to mix chemicals to soak soy beans is even more chilling. Many members of the inspection team witnessed to say, “From now on, no longer dare to drink coffee outside; I have to buy coffee beans and prepare it myself! ”.
The representative of the establishment, Mr. Le Minh Thong, did not hesitate to let the inspection team know: the roasting and processing facility has been following orders from customers for two years; Why did the guest do that? Most of the guests brought the ingredients, soya beans, coffee, and marinated chemicals, flavors and colors. If the customer does not give the additive, the facility for people to buy Kim Bien market. Each day the establishment roasts and processes around 1.5 tons of “coffee”. The inspection team requested to provide invoices and documents relating to customers who ordered and processed “coffee”, Mr. Thong only provided each customer, Nguyen Thuan Company (Ho Chi Minh City) and said more. processing for customers to name the finished coffee products are An Phuc (in the Central) and Cuong Phat (in Ho Chi Minh City). The delegation requested to provide a book to record the amount of roasted, ground-processed “coffee” for customers, Mr. Thong could not meet it. It also does not have a certificate of eligibility for food hygiene and safety; employees don’t have a checkup …
The inspection team made a record, forcing Thong Phat facility to stop working; seal and seize a number of chemicals, coloring products, “coffee” of finished products … for clarification and testing. (Continue)
Take a “strange” black solution impregnated with roasted soy beans
Soy beans after mixing chemicals, flavors and roasting finished
The place where chemicals, pigments are mixed to soak into the processed soybeans into “coffee”
Raw materials of soybeans, corn and sprawling chemicals – Photo: T. Tung – Dam Huy