Taiwan rejects contaminated sauce shipments from South Korea

06/28/2022 05:24 PM
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Photo courtesy of Taiwan FDA
Photo courtesy of Taiwan FDA

Taipei, June 28 (CNA) Several shipments of fried chicken and rice cake sauces and instant noodles from South Korea were blocked by Customs recently after being found to contain excessive amounts of preservatives or banned pesticide residue, the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Tuesday.

The FDA released on Tuesday a list of 16 items of food and containers that had failed its latest Customs inspections and were stopped at the border.

The products included a 1,141-kg shipment of spicy cream chicken sauce, honey oligosaccaride chicken sauce, and rice cake chicken sauce imported from South Korea by Kaohsiung-based TMT Enterprise Co.

All problematic products were either returned to their country of origin or destroyed, according to the FDA.

The vinegar and soy sauce contained in the sauce are allowed to contain preservatives according to relevant regulations, but higher than permitted amounts of preservatives were found in the products, FDA Northern Center head Chen Ching-yu (陳慶裕) said, adding this is the first time the company has violated the regulations.

In addition, a 1,695-kg batch of seafood flavor instant noodles from South Korea was rejected by Customs because of excessive amounts of the banned pesticide ethylene oxide, according to the FDA.

The border inspections also found other substandard imports, including a shipment of Regent Mochi Ube, a Japanese-style glutinous rice cake, from the Philippines, after they were found to be non-compliant with Taiwan's food preservatives regulation for containing dehydrated acetic acid, Chen said.

Dehydrated acetic acid is currently only allowed to be used in cheese, cream, and similar products but cannot be used in biscuits, cookies, and cakes, according to Chen.

In addition, a batch of hericium erinaceus, also known as lion's mane (monkey head) mushroom, imported from China, was also found to be contaminated with excessive levels of pesticide residue, Chen said.

Photo courtesy Taiwan FDA
Photo courtesy Taiwan FDA

It was the 15th time in six months that imports of the mushroom product from China had failed inspections, according to Chen.

The FDA began batch-by-batch inspections of the product from China on May 2.

The agency on June 21 said it had asked the Chinese supplier to provide a written explanation by Aug. 3 on why excessive pesticide residues were frequently detected in its shipments of the product to Taiwan.

(By Shen Pei-yao and Evelyn Kao)

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