No import of recalled Taiwanese food products: AVA

No import of recalled Taiwanese food products: AVA

SINGAPORE - The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) said today that Singapore does not import Wei Chuan brand oil products - a Taiwan-based manufacturer that has recalled 12 types of products since late Thursday for allegedly containing recycled oils.

Taiwanese health authorities said Friday they were investigating more than 200 companies that allegedly used recycled cooking oils obtained from restaurants in their products, in the latest food safety scandal to hit the island.

Police and prosecutors also said two underground factories were busted on suspicion of selling processed waste oils - collected from cookers, fryers and grease traps - including to one that supplied leading food oil manufacturer Chang Guann Co. Another factory allegedly recycled grease from leather processing plants for oils used in animal feeds.

Officials said that Chang Guann then sold the oils on to at least 235 companies, including a number of leading brands, as lard-based cooking oils.

The Taiwanese health authorities are investigating all the firms that may have sold or used the tainted material in their products. Chang Guann has apologised but said it was unaware that the oils were recycled so it too was a victim in the case.

The company said it had bought a total of 243 tonnes of the oil since it first started purchasing from the factory in February.

In response to the scandal, Wei Chuan Foods Corp - the Taiwanese unit of Ting Hsin International Group, which owns the Master Kong instant noodle brand - said on Thursday that it has recalled 12 types of products such as meat paste and pork floss.

When contacted, AVA said that there is no import of Wei Chuan brand oil products, including the implicated pork fiber and meat paste, in Singapore.

"As part of our routine surveillance programme, all food products, including those imported from Taiwan, are regularly monitored and sampled for compliance with our safety standards and requirements," AVA said, adding that food products that fail to comply with Singapore's safety standards and requirements are not allowed for sale.

AFP, yamadak@sph.com.sg

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