2 Taiwanese firms found to be selling expired products

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Zhen Que and Cheng Kang Provisions Limited Liability Company were discovered to have been repackaging food products and altering the expiration dates on expired food products before selling them to major retailers such as Pxmart, Taisuco, RT-Mart, OK Mart and Mr. Brown Cafe, according to the Taoyuan Public Health Bureau.

According to the bureau, the two companies have been violating the law for at least two years, based on information that authorities have collected.

The bureau has already been to the factories and confiscated products under question, including 199 packs of French-style vegetable sauce, 270 boxes of frozen chicken legs, 349 boxes of Black Forest cake and more.

Authorities also found instant coffee products that were labelled as expiring in 2018, however, the products were produced this year and only last for three years.

In addition, the companies were discovered to be using expired materials to make cakes, according to authorities.

The firms have over 4,000 customers and more than 300 types of products The health bureau is working with the relevant authorities to investigate the matter further. Such violations may be punishable by a fine of up to NT$50 million (S$1.1 million).

Labeling of Processed Steaks

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published a new policy for processed steaks, stating that each processed steak sold by restaurants, markets and vendors will need to be marked with an additional notice explaining that the products must be cooked thoroughly.

The new law will be implemented as of December at the earliest, said the FDA.

As Kuomintang (KMT) lawmakers brought up the processed steak issue weeks ago, the FDA has been researching the topic and developed the new policy.

Under the new regulation, any person or food company found guilty of mislabeling processed meat products could be punished with a fine of between NT$40,000 and NT$4 million. A fine of between NT$30,000 and NT$3 million will be issued to those who do not label processed steaks.

In 2004 the FDA notified local health departments that processed steaks should be labelled clearly. However, the labeling was not made compulsory at that time and only a few food sellers were willing to label processed steaks.

With new regulation, the FDA hopes to resolve the problem and also plans to demand that local health departments reinforce investigations into the issue.