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Carrot cookies containing banned dye removed from shelves in Taichung

02/27/2024 11:11 PM
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Boxes of carrot cookies found to contain banned dye are identified on shelves by a Taichung official. Photo courtesy of local authorities
Boxes of carrot cookies found to contain banned dye are identified on shelves by a Taichung official. Photo courtesy of local authorities

Taichung, Feb. 27 (CNA) More than 300 kilograms of carrot cookies containing banned dye Sudan III have been removed from shelves in Taichung, the city's food and drug safety office said in a statement on Tuesday.

The 246.84 kg of problematic carrot cookies produced by Miaoli-based Hsin Hao Food Co. using chili powder containing carcinogenic dye Sudan III have been removed from shelves in 163 outlets of supermarket chain PX Mart Co. Ltd. in the central Taiwan city, the office said.

Meanwhile, 102 kg of carrot cookies and 19.86 kg of white pepper biscuits supplied by Hsin Hao to four other distributors in Taichung have also been removed from shelves, including 12.06 kg already sold to retail customers, the office said.

The office said it will continue to monitor the recall of other food products containing the banned food coloring, such as spicy shrimp chips under the renowned snack brand "Hsia Wei Hsien" and pork jerky made by Jin An Ji.

As of of Feb. 25, 1,377.1 kg out of 2,057.8 kg of "Hsia Wei Hsien" chips sold to the public in Taichung had been recalled, while 1,973 kg out of 6,739 kg of pork products rolled out by Jin An Ji to 40 downstream retailers in the city have also been tracked down.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health in Kaohsiung said efforts to recall food products containing the banned carcinogenic dye are under way.

As of 7 p.m. Monday, 33.12 kg out of 67.86 kg of carrot cookies delivered to three local retail businesses had been recalled.

The health department reminded the public that customers are entitled to ask for a refund from the store on producing an invoice or the product they bought with expiry dates on Aug. 2, Aug. 15 and Aug. 23 this year.

The latest food safety scare in Taiwan involving Sudan dyes was exposed when chili powder from Taipei-based spice company Chiseng Co. Ltd. was found on Jan. 30 to contain the chemical, having been sourced from New Taipei-based Bao Hsin Enterprises Co.

The origin of the chemical used by Bao Hsin was identified as Sanhe Drug Co. in China's Henan Province, a supplier of chili powder.

The discovery led to random inspections by health authorities nationwide that indicated four batches of the problematic chili powder supplied by Bao Hsin went to 16 downstream businesses, including Chiseng, Taiwan's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said in a press release on Tuesday.

As of Feb. 26, 21 metric tons of food products containing the banned substance had been removed from shelves or tracked down nationwide, the agency said.

The FDA has conducted batch-by-batch border inspections of chili powder imported from China since Dec. 11 last year and these will continue until June 10.

The tainted material was imported before the batch-by-batch inspections were implemented, when the random check rate was 50 percent, FDA officials said.

(By Flor Wang, Chao Li-yen and Tsai Meng-yu)

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