Banned additives found in Taiwan's chain of restaurants

Banned additives found in Taiwan's chain of restaurants

TAIPEI, Taiwan - The Taoyuan County Government yesterday announced that it has found traces of banned feed additives in the meats used by a well-known restaurant chain through a routine test of ingredients earlier in the month.

According to the findings of the county government, routine testing revealed that the fillet mignon on the menu of Yuansho, a Japanese-style barbeque restaurant chain operated by the Wowprime Group, contained traces of zilpaterol, a feed additive designed to increase the size of livestock and improve meat production efficiency. Consumption of meats containing such additives may lead to side effects including nausea, dizziness, increased heart rates, palpitations and muscle tenseness.

Currently, regulations allow for the use of similar additives such as ractopamine, as long as meats contain residual quantities of less than 10 parts per billion (ppb). However, due to its greater potential health risks, the Department of Health has since banned all meats containing any amount of zilpaterol. According to reports, testing revealed that a Yuansho franchise located in Taoyuan City had been selling fillet mignon containing 0.5 ppb of zilapaterol.

The Wowprime Group yesterday announced that when it was notified of the matter on Oct. 18, the fillet mignon and related items in question were immediately pulled from the menus of all Yuansho restaurants across Taiwan. The company added that the tainted products had only been added to its menu on Sept. 2. Following the incident, the company voluntarily submitted samples of all its meat items, which passed inspections for harmful additives.

Reports indicate that the restaurant chain had sourced the tainted beef from the US through the distributed Mayfull Fine Foods, a meat supplier headquartered in Taipei.

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