Major eateries' duck blood has biotoxins: Taiwan bureau

Major eateries' duck blood has biotoxins: Taiwan bureau

TAIPEI, Taiwan - The Taichung Health Bureau yesterday stated that an investigation into several manufacturers of duck blood confirmed to be contaminated with metallic biotoxins indicated that major chain restaurants such as Tripod King, Wulao  and Spicy Fans are supplied by these manufacturers. The health bureau explained that the duck blood has been confirmed to contain metallic bio-toxins that are not suitable for consumption.

Duck blood and chicken blood are common ingredients used in Taiwanese hot pot soups and are often condensed with rice into a cake or jelly-like consistency.

The Taichung District Prosecutors Office along with the Taichung Health Bureau conducted an investigation into New Taipei City-based Shuang Peng Foods' facilities in Taichung's Wu Jih District and discovered a large drum containing chicken blood and duck blood meant for human consumption. Inspectors found approximately nine metric tons of pre-sealed chicken blood, 36,780 kilograms of partly sealed containers and 746 bags of spicy-flavor blood soup. All of the blood identified as contaminated was seized by officials.

Shuang Peng Foods manufacturers chicken, duck and pig blood products and currently has a 70-per cent national market share.

Taichung Health Bureau Deputy Director Tsai Shu-feng stated that inspectors from the Taichung District Prosecutors Office identified four firms in the Taichung area as having used contaminated blood products. In addition to the supplier in Taichung's Wu Jih District, a Spicy Fans location had 5 kilograms of blood in storage, while the other two were out of stock.

In Taipei City, health bureau officials identified eight restaurants that used Shuang Peng's blood products, including popular hot pot chain Fuchi Hotpot's Changan location.

Tsai stated that at noon yesterday, Taichung health bureau officials launched a preventative investigation into 12 of the most popular hot pot restaurants in the city. As prior investigation results showed that Tripod King and Wulao used 135kg and 201kg of Shuang Peng's blood products, respectively, all restaurants were secured to ensure food safety, said Tsai.

Intend to Continue Ordering from Shuang Peng: Tripod King

In regard to Tripod King having its stock of Shuang Peng blood seized, Tripod King Group Assistant Manager Chang Shih-i stated that Shung Peng always submits documentation proving inspection standards with all their orders and Tripod King intends to continue ordering supplies from the company in the future. Chang believes that Shuang Peng is also a victim in this food safety scandal and after seeing media reports on Thursday night, Chang ordered that the contaminated products be removed from shelves. However, the reason inspectors seized a large quantity of Shuang Peng's supply yesterday was that the company had ordered a large shipment in advance that was delivered on Friday morning.

Taipei Veterans General Hospital's toxicology division head Yang Chen-chang stated that there is a possibility the blood could contain bacteria related to the H strains of bird flu. Food containing such bacteria can be sterilized through cooking; however, cooking the blood is not enough to remove biotoxins from metallic residue.

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