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American pizza sauce seized at Taiwan border

02/27/2024 10:23 PM
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Pizza sauce imported from the United States. Photo taken from the website of Taiwan's Food and Drug Administration
Pizza sauce imported from the United States. Photo taken from the website of Taiwan's Food and Drug Administration

Taipei, Feb. 27 (CNA) Pizza sauce imported from the United States was seized at the border after it was found to contain excessive amounts of pesticide, Taiwan's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Tuesday.

According to the FDA, pizza sauce imported by Taiwan Kagome Co., Ltd from the U.S. was sent for testing on Jan. 29 and was found to contain 1.3 parts per million (ppm) of ethylene-oxide, well above the maximum permissible limit of 0.1 ppm.

Like all imported food items that fail border tests, the 19 metric tons of pizza sauce will be destroyed or returned to its country of origin, the FDA said.

According to FDA Deputy Director-General Lin Chin-fu (林金富), Taiwan Kagome has imported 11 batches of pizza sauce from the U.S. in the past six months, and of its four randomly inspected batches, two failed inspections.

Lin said that all pizza sauce imported by the company will now be subjected to batch-by-batch inspections.

Meanwhile, the FDA's Tuesday announcement revealed other imported goods seized at the border included chili powder from China, chopsticks from Japan and green beans from Indonesia.

According to Lin, 14.37 percent of the chili powder imported from China between Aug. 19, 2023 and Feb. 19, 2024 failed border inspections, mainly for containing excessive amounts of the pesticide chlormequat chloride or Sudan III, an industrial dye that is not allowed to be used for food processing in Taiwan.

Lin added that during the period from Dec. 11 last year to June 10, all chili powder imported from China is being subjected to batch-by-batch inspections.

Furthermore, from Feb. 20, 21 companies that have imported products from China that failed border inspections will be barred from importing goods from the country for three months.

He also said that authorities are now planning to amend regulations regarding inspecting imported goods, which could lead to certain products being directly banned from entering the country, instead of first increasing how often they are inspected, to enhance food safety.

(By Tseng Yi-ning and Bernadette Hsiao)


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