Focus Taiwan App
Download

Spice company employees investigated for banned dye 'safety report'

02/27/2024 08:43 PM
To activate the text-to-speech service, please first agree to the privacy policy below.
Yunlin County officials investigate the Yunlin plant of Taipei-based spice company Chi-Seng Co. Ltd. Photo courtesy of Yunlin District Prosecutors Office
Yunlin County officials investigate the Yunlin plant of Taipei-based spice company Chi-Seng Co. Ltd. Photo courtesy of Yunlin District Prosecutors Office

Taipei, Feb. 27 (CNA) The Taiwan Yunlin District Prosecutors Office said Tuesday it is seeking the detention of two employees from a spice company who are suspected of fabricating a safety report to cover up a prohibited dye in their product and facilitate its sale to a downstream client.

A motion was filed the previous day with the Taiwan Yunlin District Court to detain two research and development personnel from the Yunlin plant of Taipei-based spice company Chi-Seng Co. Ltd., the office said in a news release.

The two individuals are suspected of violating the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation by falsifying a report from quality testing company SGS Taiwan about seasoning powder, which SGS originally found to contain Sudan III, a carcinogenic dye banned from use in food processing in Taiwan, prosecutors said.

Sudan dyes are a group of industrial dyes consisting of several red colors -- including Sudan I, III, and IV -- which are classified as category 3 carcinogens by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

Raw materials used at the Yunlin plant of Taipei-based spice company Chi-Seng Co. Ltd. is ceased by Yunlin officials. Photo courtesy of Yunlin District Prosecutors Office
Raw materials used at the Yunlin plant of Taipei-based spice company Chi-Seng Co. Ltd. is ceased by Yunlin officials. Photo courtesy of Yunlin District Prosecutors Office

The employees allegedly altered the report to deceive their downstream client PX Mart. The altered version falsely affirmed the safety of the powder, which was sourced from New Taipei-based raw material dealer Bao Hsin Enterprises Co., and supplied by Chinese company Sanhe Drug Co.

The Yunlin prosecutors argued that the two individuals could flee, collude with others or tamper with evidence. They also released five of nine company workers questioned on Monday on bail of between NT$20,000 and NT$1.5 million (US$633-US$47,460).

The case of Sudan dyes came to light when the Chi-Seng product was tested by Yunlin health authorities on Jan. 30 and found to contain the banned chemical.

The discovery led to random inspections that have so far shown four batches of problematic chili powder supplied by Bao Hsin, Taiwan's Food and Drug Administration said, adding that 21,234.5 kilograms of the powder had been recalled as of Feb. 26.

The FDA said it has conducted batch-by-batch border inspections on chili powder imported from China since Dec. 11 last year, which are scheduled to continue until June 10.

The products in question were imported when the random sampling rate was 50 percent before the control measures were enhanced, FDA officials said.

During a legislative session on Tuesday, Premier Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) said the central government will collaborate with local authorities to conduct comprehensive food inspections and enforce penalties for any violations.

(By Wang Yang-yu, Huang Kuo-fang and Lee Hsin-Yin)

Enditem/AW

    0:00
    /
    0:00
    We value your privacy.
    Focus Taiwan (CNA) uses tracking technologies to provide better reading experiences, but it also respects readers' privacy. Click here to find out more about Focus Taiwan's privacy policy. When you close this window, it means you agree with this policy.
    172.30.142.42