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Mainland ban for Taiwan firm's edible oil products

Shanghai Daily, October 13, 2014 Adjust font size:

China's top quality watchdog has banned the import to the mainland of all edible oil products from Taiwan's Cheng I Food.

A supplier of Cheng I, a subsidiary of food giant Ting Hsin International Group, was found to have labelled oil intended for animal feed as edible lard while importing it from Vietnam, and Cheng I was accused of using it during the production process.

Cheng I has been ordered to pull 68 types of products off shelves and has had its oil products sealed by Taiwan's food authorities.

The mainland has not imported lard oil products from Taiwan since 2013, according to the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.

To ensure that problematic oil products are kept out of the mainland, the bureau has banned the import of all other edible oil products from the company. It said further measures are possible depending on developments and it was closely following an investigation by Taiwan authorities.

Wei Yin-chun, head of Cheng I Food and Wei Chuan Foods Corp, which was entangled in an earlier recycled oil scandal, has apologized and resigned.

He also announced over the weekend that the oil production factories of Ting Hsin and Cheng I would be closed until the safety of their products could be assured.

There have been calls in Taiwan for a boycott of all Ting Hsin products following a string of food quality scandals and the Taipei Education Bureau said that schools and other educational institutions would stop buying its products until safety concerns were addressed.

Taiwan authorities said that anyone involved in the current incident would face prison sentences of up to five years if it was found that Cheng I had profited from adulterating edible oil with animal feed.

In the earlier food safety scandal, Chang Guann Co, a leading food oil manufacturer in Taiwan, was found to have mixed oil collected from cookers, fryers and grease traps with lard oil for sale. Chang Guann has apologized but said it was unaware the oil had been recycled. The owner of an illegal factory that sold oil to Chang Guann has been detained.

Chang Guann supplied leading companies including Wei Chuan Foods Corp, Taiwan Sugar Corp, Chi Mei Frozen Food Co, Sheng Hsiang Jen Foods Co and Gourmet Master Co, which owns the bakery and coffee chain 85C.

Wei Chuan Foods, the Taiwan unit of Ting Hsin which owns the Master Kong instant noodle brand, has recalled 12 types of products including meat paste and pork floss which may have used the recycled oil.

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