Focus Taiwan App
Download

Use of chili, curry powder banned in school lunches across Taiwan

03/07/2024 09:56 PM
To activate the text-to-speech service, please first agree to the privacy policy below.
The fruits and meals delivered to a junior high school in New Taipei are delivered with a notes explaining changes of dishes due to the ban on chili and curry powder, on Thursday. Photo courtesy of New Taipei Municipal Zhongshan Junior High School March 7, 2024
The fruits and meals delivered to a junior high school in New Taipei are delivered with a notes explaining changes of dishes due to the ban on chili and curry powder, on Thursday. Photo courtesy of New Taipei Municipal Zhongshan Junior High School March 7, 2024

Taipei, March 7 (CNA) Amid concerns over banned dye found in chili powder imported from China, as of Thursday all cities and counties in Taiwan had announced temporary bans on the use of chili and curry powder in school lunches.

New Taipei was the first local government to announce a suspension Wednesday, prompting all other 21 cities and counties to follow suit.

The banned substances in question are Sudan dyes, a group of industrial dyes listed as toxic chemical substances and bannedd for use in foodstuffs by the Ministry of Environment's Chemicals Administration.

According to Taiwan's Food and Drug Administration (TFDA), from Feb. 9 to March 2, a total of 15 shipments of chili powder imported from China were found to contain Sudan dyes, resulting in the recall of a total of 122,588.4 kilograms of chili powder and related food products, such as curry powder.

A total of 12 local governments did not set an end date to the provisional bans, including Taichung, Yilan County, Hsinchu County, Miaoli County, Nantou County, Yunlin County, Changhua County, Chiayi City, Hualien County, Pingtung County, Kinmen County and Lienchiang County.

Taipei's suspension will be in effect until March 31 and Penghu County's will last until April 30. Tainan, Kaohsiung, New Taipei, Taoyuan, Chiayi County, Hsinchu City and Keelung City will ban the powders for three months. Taitung County's suspension is in effect until the end of the semester.

Meanwhile, suspensions were also announced for care homes, welfare homes, medical institutions and long-term care institutions in Tainan and Kaohsiung; medical and long-term care institutions in Pingtung County; institutions that provide meals, such as schools and welfare centers in Chiayi County, and caterers in Hualien County and Yilan County.

Taipei Mayor Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) said the city's Health Department is conducting inspections.

He said discovery of unreported or unregistered items in the management system that hinders city officials' work in tracking down illegal substances, will result in a fine of NT$1.44 million (US$45,683).

Chiang added that if manufacturers and distributors are aware of the potential harm caused by their products and fail to report problems or falsify examination reports, the fine will be NT$2 million.

In response to the reactions of local governments, Health Minister Hsueh Jui-yuan (薛瑞元) said he respected their decision.

He estimated that a thorough investigation into the distribution of the problematic substances would be complete in about a month.

He explained that chili powder can be processed and added to many food products, which has led to an increasing number of items being seized and sealed as the investigations progress.

(By Chang Jung-hsiang, Chen Yi-hsuan, Tseng yi-ning and Wu Kuan-Hsien)

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.
    172.30.142.34