Instant-noodle maker fined for insulting language in product description
An online seller of self-heating rice-noodle on T-mall was fined 800,000 yuan for using insulting language in their product description, which referenced a food poisoning victim.
Shanghai Meiling Catering Trade & Management Co named their hotpot "Get-rich Clam Rice-noodle Priced at 1.76 million Yuan," on its online store, displayed other pictures containing news articles about food poisoning and a family demanding compensation of 1.76 million yuan (US$255,350) following the death of a relative from eating their product.
The market watchdog determined that the description had hurt the feelings of consumers and had caused adverse social consequences.
The incident occurred five months ago when a woman surnamed Chen purchased four boxes of "garlic-flavored self-heating rice noodles with clam" online.
Three boxes were consumed, causing vomiting, fever, and diarrhea in Chen, her daughter, and mother.
Chen died after ineffective treatment at a local hospital. The local judicial appraisal center and public security bureau could not rule out that acute poisoning caused by eating the rice noodle was the cause of death.
After negotiations failed, Chen's husband Lu demanded compensation from the rice-noodle maker for his deceased and injured family members, totaling 1.76 million yuan.
On March 2, the official online store of the rice-noodle brand was exposed for promoting a product called "get-rich clam rice-noodle price at 1.76 million yuan," using an image related to the news of a woman who allegedly died after eating self-heating food. The promotion stunt quickly drew attention online.
On March 4, the rice-noodle maker issued a statement apologizing for the incident, claiming it was posted by one of their chain's online store operation staff members who acted out of an irrational emotional outburst. The staff member has since been dismissed.