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Costco Taiwan suspends sales of I-Mei fresh milk

2019/05/12 20:41:24

Image from facebook. com

Taipei, May 12 (CNA) Costco Taiwan has pulled I-Mei brand fresh milk off the shelves of its outlets after a few consumers questioned the freshness of the product.

A consumer complained on Costco's Facebook page that the I-Mei brand milk he bought had turned sour even though it was still within the expiration date, and the complaint was echoed by others.

After receiving the feedback, Costco Taiwan announced it would stop selling I-Mei brand fresh milk and that I-Mei Foods Co. will look into the alleged incidents.

The membership-based American wholesale club said it will not put I-Mei's milk back on its shelves until the company clears the suspicions, and stressed that consumers can return unexpired I-Mei milk to their stores and for full refunds.

I-Mei President Kao Chih-ming (高志明) said in a statement that the company's milk is pasteurized using the "high-temperature, short-time" (HTST) technology instead of "ultra-heat treatment" (UHT) to preserve the milk's nutrition.

But the downside of the HTST method is that the milk can go sour more easily when it is not stored at the right temperature, Kao said, and he urged retailers and consumers to help the company maintain the quality of its product.

The spoiling of dairy products is usually associated with the way they are being preserved, Food Safety Division head Pan Chih-kuan (潘志寬) of the Food and Drug Administration explained in an interview.

The process of pasteurization does not kill all the bacteria, which will proliferate and lead to the milk souring and curdling if the product is is not stored and preserved correctly, he said.

(By Tsai Peng-min, Jiang Ming-yan and Emerson Lim)