TikTok’s Pink Sauce has taken the internet by storm. While some tend to find the condiment intriguing, many have called it out for giving wrong nutritional facts on the label. Since then, creator Chef Pii has come under fire. Now, netizens are concerned about whether the product’s creator is following FDA standards and has received approval from the federal agency to sell the product across the country.
The viral sauce, created by Miami celebrity chef Chef Pii, has gained immense traction as it has acquired several customers. Many have been concerned with the product being sold due to its incorrect nutrition label as mentioned before, the product getting shipped during a heat wave and its concerning ingredients which include sunflower seed oil, distilled vinegar, lemon juice, milk, citric acid, dragon fruit and garlic among others.
As the young creator held an Instagram live session to respond to queries about the sauce being sold for $20, Pii was swarmed with questions related to the product being approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Chef Pii said:
“What do you mean FDA approved? I don’t sell medical products. The Pink Sauce is not a medical product. The Pink Sauce doesn’t contribute to your health. I never said that, did I?”
According to the FDA’s official website, the agency is responsible for assuring food items other than livestock, poultry, and some egg products are “safe, wholesome, sanitary and properly labelled.”
The FDA told sources that the sauce manufacturer must follow the current Good Manufacturing Practices to ensure that the products are safely created. The spokesperson said:
“As is always the case, it is a manufacturer’s continuing responsibility to ensure that foods marketed are safe, wholesome, and in compliance with all applicable legal and regulatory requirements.”
However, it remains unclear whether Chef Pii was registering her sauce with the FDA.
Experts claim Pink Sauce can cause Botulism
With the condiment’s FDA approval and nutrition label unclear, experts are warning against the consumption of the product. Food safety expert and chef Brigette Joseph told Yahoo that food products must always be approved by the FDA before being shipped to locations. The chef also revealed that as the sauce contains honey, it may cause food poisoning.
Pink Sauce may cause botulism, a rare but fatal illness caused by a toxin produced in a bacteria called Clostridium botulinum. The toxin targets the nervous system, which can inevitably lead to paralysis and respiratory failure. Speaking about the same, Joseph revealed:
“In some cases, raw honey can cause botulism — an extreme case of food poisoning — due to natural bacteria that exists in it. So it is no surprise that some people report that they got violently ill after eating the pink sauce.”
A few symptoms of foodborne botulism include dry mouth, trouble breathing, drooping eyelids, nausea, stomach cramps, paralysis, facial weakness on both sides of the face, trouble swallowing and speaking, etc.
Ben Chapman, a food safety specialist and professor at North Carolina State University, told Insider that consuming the Pink Sauce was “risky.” He explained that since the product contains oils and garlic, it might create an unhealthy pH level in the product that can make it unsafe for shipping without refrigeration. Chapman explained:
“Putting those two things together and leaving it at room temperature in other situations has led to botulism.”
While several people have commented on their doubts about the product, Chef Pii has assured followers that the Pink Sauce is not going anywhere. She also told Insider that her team is “working diligently to clear all discrepancies.”