Prosecutors uncovered 22 tons of expired food ingredients, some of which were seven years past their due date, in Taichung, while 250 kilograms of seafood, including frozen shrimp which expired three years ago, was found in New Taipei Tuesday.
The discovery triggered a new round of alarm over food safety in this country, which is still reeling from a spate of food scandals involving plasticizers and adulterated edible oils over the past few years.
Taichung City’s health officials said Hsiung Hsun Co. Ltd., based in the city’s Dali District, is suspected of selling expired black tea powder, ham seasoning, garlic powder, rosemary spice, soy milk powder and other raw materials to downstream manufacturers since 2014.
A big customer of Hsiung Hsun’s expired products is the Nantou factory of food giant CP Taiwan, where local health officials have cordoned off more than 7,608 boxes with a combined weight of 10,959 kg that had been used in seven products.
Officials from CP Taiwan, also known as Charoen Pokphand Enterprise (Taiwan) Co., said they have asked their downstream sellers to remove the affected products from shelves as a precaution. The recalled products will be destroyed, according to Natou County’s Department of Health.
Some of Hsiung Hsun products have been sold to a company in Kaohsiung City, whose health officials have demanded that the company recall all products made from the expired ingredients.
Taichung prosecutors and police said Hsiung Hsun Co. is suspected of committing forgery by changing the expiry dates of its products to make illicit profits.
In New Taipei, health and prosecution officials said they have cordoned off 250 kg of sea food at Ocean International Co. Ltd., which is also suspected of forging the expiry dates of its frozen products before selling them to restaurants and eateries.