Following an alleged food poisoning incident last August, Nestlé Vietnam has found itself the focus of legal action. Khai Hoan Footwear filed the case to the HCMC People’s Court to demand compensation after 400 of its employees fell ill after sampling Nescafe milk coffee as part of a sales promotion.

Deputy director of Khai Hoan, Hoang Huy Thong, revealed that the company is seeking compensation of VND211m for the emergency treatment, medicine, hospital fees and product suspension losses allegedly caused by poor quality coffee. “More than 400 workers got poisoned and 300 had to receive emergency treatment at hospitals,” he added, revealing that 121 workers were hospitalised for one to three days.

At Nestlé, director general Nick Miller argued that there was no scientific evidence to link the food poisoning to the company’s coffee product, despite investigations by the Service of Health, Food Hygiene Management Department and the Southern Public Medical Hygiene Institute.

Epidemiological investigations by the HCMC Service of Health do however suggest a link between the Nescafe product and the symptoms of employees after the sampling.