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COST OF LIVING/Domestic egg prices to rise amid concerns over imports

09/24/2023 07:55 PM
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An egg seller tends his stand at a street market in New Taipei's Xizhi District on Sept. 3, 2023
An egg seller tends his stand at a street market in New Taipei's Xizhi District on Sept. 3, 2023

Taipei, Sept. 24 (CNA) The price of domestically produced eggs will rise by about NT$3.4 (US$0.106) per kilogram in the coming week amid mounting demand for domestic eggs due to concerns over imported eggs, the head of a commercial egg association in Taipei said Sunday.

The wholesale price is set to rise to NT$91.7 from NT$88.3 per kilo Monday, Lin Tien-lai (林天來), who heads the Taipei commercial egg association, told CNA by phone.

It will be the second time the wholesale price of eggs will rise since Sept. 3, when they went up by NT$5 per kilo (about 12-16 eggs), and also return wholesale egg prices to their highest level since March 2023.

Lin said the price hike partly reflected an increase in demand of about 400,000 domestic eggs per day after school lunch caterers who used frozen liquid eggs shifted to fresh eggs harvested in Taiwan.

The shift came after it was found that the liquid eggs labeled as coming from Taiwan were actually made partially from imported eggs, sparking food safety concerns.

Consumer confidence in imported eggs was shaken following the recall in mid-September of a batch of 20,000 Brazilian eggs after they were found to have been labeled with an incorrect expiration date.

Amid consumer reluctance to buy imported eggs and insufficient egg production domestically, Lin said he expected the egg shortage to snowball until the end of the year and the price of eggs to continue to rise.

In related news, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Deputy Director-General Lin Chin-fu (林金富) said in a statement Saturday evening that the FDA had completed inspections of 59 food processing plants from Sept. 21 to Sept. 23.

It found that the egg processing procedures and processing environments of two plants failed to meet food safety and sanitation requirements, and it has asked them to make improvements by a certain deadline.

Failure to do so could result in a fine of NT$60,000 to NT$200 million in accordance with the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation, Lin said.

In addition, two of 97 liquid egg products the FDA checked in inspections of product labels failed to meet statutory requirements, Lin said.

The FDA also conducted inspections of 2,921 egg products in various retail outlets around Taiwan between Sept. 14 and Sept. 23, and all of the products were found to comply with regulatory requirements, Lin said.

(By Chen Chieh-ling and Evelyn Kao)

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