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Pink Sauce goes viral on TikTok: Why has the FDA jumped in?

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Pink Sauce

You may have seen a “Pink Sauce” headline in your social feeds some time in the past week. Maybe you skipped over it, but now it’s hard to escape. The Pink Sauce situation is real, and chef Carly Pii is taking it very, very personally.

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Who is Carly Pii?

A single mom with two children, Pii says she has been working as a private chef for four years. Before TikTok, she posted dozens of YouTube videos between 2018 and 2020, which ranged from mukbang videos to weight loss vlogs, in which she followed fad diets with dubious nutritional backing. The pink sauce debacle began about a month ago when Pii shared her homemade, vibrant pink concoction on her small TikTok account. As the chef swiftly gained millions of views on the platform, far outpacing her years-old YouTube channel, she made the decision to bottle and sell Pink Sauce for $20 a bottle.

Pricing aside, her new followers noticed that some key details were missing: what does it taste like, what is it made out of, and why is it pink? She even touted its supposed health benefits without revealing the ingredients.

So what went wrong?

Many a thing. Customers have complained that they received damaged bottles of the sauce. Some pointed out that it contains ingredients that need to be refrigerated, which are not printed out on the label.

Others have bigger concerns regarding the sauce. They questioned its taste and what it looks like. Many have also pointed out labeling errors.

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Nutritional labels on the packages assert that one bottle has 444 servings. A TikTok user said, “There are so many errors on this nutritional label, saying 444 servings, which is 14.4 grams. Which makes almost 6,300-something grams in the whole bottle, which is inaccurate. And if these small details were overlooked, I’m looking at quality control now. I’m kind of scared.”

However, Pii clarified this was an error made by a graphic designer and will be rectified in the next batch.

Apart from this, the changing hues of pink in the sauce have also raised eyebrows.

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How has Chef Pii responded to the complaints?

PII sent email blasts to people who ordered her sauce and have either replaced the order or provided a refund. She also posted explanatory videos on YouTube and TikTok where she emphasized that the sauce is manufactured in a facility that has been approved by FDA.

However, she is not bogged down. In fact, she has plans to take her product beyond TikTok.

“We are currently in lab testing. Once we go through lab testing we will be able to pitch to stores,” she said.

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