12 new oil samples from Ting Hsin International Group were sent to a lab for additional examination on dioxin levels recently, after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirming yesterday that excessive amounts of heavy metals were detected in previous samples.
According to the examination report, the lard and tallow products that Ting Hsin Oil & Fat Industrial Co. imported from Vietnam-based Dai Hanh Phuc Co. Ltd. fail to meet national standards.
The report shows 0.08 parts per million (ppm) of chromium in the tallow samples, which is unacceptable as absolutely no traces of the element are allowed in this type of product. In addition, lead levels are 0.73ppm in lard samples and 0.4ppm in tallow samples. The national standard should be at or below 0.1ppm.
The test results also reveal that the copper levels of these samples are above acceptable requirements. With the national standard demanding copper levels lower than 0.4ppm, Ting Hsin's lard products were revealed to contain 0.54ppm. In addition, copper levels in two different tallow products from Ting Hsin were found to be 0.47ppm and 0.9ppm, respectively.
The examination also found excessive acid values. While national standards only allow 1.3ppm for lard products, Ting Hsin's products contain 2.3ppm. Moreover, three samples from Ting Hsin's tallow showed 4.4ppm, 5.8ppm and 6.7ppm when testing on acid values as the standard requires the acid value for tallow to be lower than 2.5ppm.
Chiang Yu-mei, acting director-general of the FDA, stated that the FDA suspects the excessive amount of heavy metals may be a result of the production environment.
Considering the poor quality of original materials that Ting Hsin imported from Vietnam, the FDA has started to proceed with additional examinations to test for dioxin levels after deliberation with prosecutors, she said.
According to the FDA, the examination will analyse for 29 kinds of dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzo-para-dioxins (PCDDs).
Bei-hai Oil Scandal Expands
More famous brands and restaurants were dragged into the tainted oil issue recently.
With the recall orders issued on Nov. 3, local health departments started to track the products made from Bei-hai's problematic oil.
The Taichung Health Bureau reported that Foodsmart, a Taichung-based distributor, bought 42 tons of lard from Bei-hai and sold its products to major brands and restaurants including Chun Shui Tang Cultural Tea House, Taichung Stake House's Central Taiwan Science Park branch, Wang Steak's Wu Chuan branch and Eatogether's Top City branch.