Taiwan FDA conducting meat probe

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday said that local health agencies are investigating the 117 restaurants and traditional market vendors that have allegedly purchased and used lamb mixed with pork.

frozen.lambFDA interim Director-General Chiang Yu-mei (姜郁美) said the Greater Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office has provided a list of 117 stores to health authorities nationwide and that the agencies are verifying the quantity of the adulterated lamb they procured.

“The adulterated lamb is mostly frozen meat and must be removed from store shelves. Businesspeople who produce or sell adulterated or counterfeited foods are subject to a maximum fine of NT$50 million (US$1.67 million) and a prison term of up to five years,” Chiang said.

Chiang made the remarks one day after the Greater Kaohsiung Government’s Department of Health released the results of its random test on sliced lamb products in the city, with the test showing that two of the four lamb samples tested were found to contain traces of pork.

The department then referred the two meat vendors that sold the problematic lamb products — one in the city’s Fongshan District (鳳山) and the other in Zuoying District (左營) — to prosecutors for further investigation.

According to prosecutors’ preliminary investigation, the two meat vendors purchased the adulterated lamb from Kaohsiung’s Ching Lung Meat Co (金龍肉品) and New Taipei City’s Hua Yuan International Co (華元國際) respectively.

While Ching Lung simply mixed lamb with pork, Hua Yuan was found to have manufactured three different grades of lamb, categorized as Grade A, Grade B and Grade C, prosecutors said.