The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said Thursday that a 40 millimeter-long piece of plastic was discovered in a Kirkland Signature Jelly Belly product. A 13 millimeter-long plastic vinyl sheet was also found in a Kirkland Signature Protein Bar.
It was the fourth time this year that foreign substances had been discovered in Kirkland products.
The ministry issued Costco a corrective order for violating the Food Sanitation Act.
Kirkland Signature manufactures products across various categories including bakery, meat, delicatessen and snacks. Costco estimated the brand value of Kirkland to be 7.3 trillion won ($6.7 billion) as of last year.
There are currently 14 Costco outlets in Korea. Only registered members who pay an annual fee of 33,000 won can shop there.
From August 2016 to August 2017, Costco Korea earned 3.8 trillion won in sales, up by 8.7 percent on-year. Its operating profit was 167 billion won in the same period, up by 4.8 percent on-year.
Last year, Costco Korea received three corrective orders from the ministry.
Earlier this year, strands of hair were found in Kirkland’s frozen food shrimp dim sum, as well as mold in Messana Grated Parmasan Cheese. A Haribo Goldbaren product had contained a chunk of maize starch.
Last year, plastic pieces were discovered in its meat product Kirkland Signature Pork Strip and Kirkland Signature Fry Vegetable Blend. A 2-millimeter-long insect was also found in Grove Only Fresh Orange Juice.
Regarding public concerns over Costco’s product sanitary inspection, the company declined to comment.
By Kim Da-sol (email@example.com)