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Macau government criticized over approval of recycled oil imports

2014/09/07 21:12:36

Taipei, Sept. 7 (CNA) Two bakeries in Macau complained Sunday about the local government's approval of bogus lard imports from Taiwan, which were found to contain oil recycled from kitchen waste, according to a Macau media report.

Macau authorities said earlier in the day that at least 21 local food manufacturers and retailers, including the famous Pastelaria Fong Kei and Padaria da Guia bakeries, had been using oils supplied by Taiwan's Chang Guann Co.

Pastelaria Fong Kei confirmed Sunday on the radio station Teledifusao de Macau (TDM) that it had used Chang Guann's oils to make traditional Chinese sweetheart cakes between early August and Sept. 4.

The company said it will accept returns of the product and offer refunds.

Meanwhile, the owner of Pastelaria Fong Kei, surnamed Ko, said his company on Saturday discontinued its use of the low-grade oils and that he never thought the Macau government would have approved the importation of substandard oils, according to the radio station.

Ko said that although many customers flocked to his stores Sunday morning, he was worried about the company's reputation because he had received many calls from other customers asking about the oil scandal, according to the news report.

Lu Zhi-liang, the owner of Padaria da Guia, told TDM that his company had pulled the tainted products from its store shelves. He said he had told customers, however, that the bakery's moon cakes were not made with the substandard oil from Taiwan.

Lu complained that the Macau government had loosened checks on imports of food ingredients, leaving many local food companies vulnerable to the cooking oil scandal, the report said.

According to China News Service, the Hong Kong Food and Health Bureau told reporters Sunday that it is still tracing buyers of the bogus lard imported by three Hong Kong-based distributors, including a list of about 20 customers provided by Dah Chong Hong Kong Holdings Ltd.

Kaohsiung-based Chang Guann allegedly sold 782 tons of lard-based products to food companies throughout Taiwan, including some brand-name enterprises such as Wei Chuan Foods Corp. and Chi Mei Frozen Food Co.

At least 235 domestic food companies and restaurants in Taiwan had been using the brand containing questionable lard-based oil made from recycled kitchen waste, Taiwan's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said.

(By Jeffrey Wu)