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Soft Drinks Lose Fizz as Gov’t Shuts Down Factories

In an unprecedented move, a government agency has ordered the shutting down of two soft drink bottling plants and ordered the recall of the products.

The Ministry of Trade has shutdown the MOHA Soft Drinks plant in Hawassa and the East Africa Bottling plant in Dire Dawa over substandard qualities. The companies are known for their flagship products, Pepsi and Coca Cola, respectively.

Sources from the Ministry of Trade confirmed the closure. However they declined to comment on the current status of the investigations.

The plant in Hawassa, called the Hawassa Millennium Pepsi Cola plant was opened in 2007 and employs over 500 people.

“We have been informed of the process but it is too early to comment,” Tekie Berhan, communication director Ethiopian Conformity Assessment Enterprise told Fortune.

The office is responsible for conducting inspections on the two factories regarding the quality of the products.

In a letter written by the enterprise regarding MOHA’s products, the reason behind the closure was revealed as the substandard quality of the soft drinks processed by the plant.

The letter reads that samples taken on October 17, 2016 from the plants from Hawassa failed to fulfil PH Standards set by Ethiopian Standard Agency. In general, the allegation states that MOHA failed to meet the compulsory standards in soft drinks that were approved by the Agency in 2013.

The test results of Pepsi soft drinks manufactured in the Hawassa plant show that it failed the PH limit standards. The requirements state that PH values for soft drinks (aside from citrus juices) have to be 2.5. Pepsi’s samples showed 2.43.

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