TAIPEI - The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested that Ting Hsin International Group remove eight beef tallow products from shelves as a precaution yesterday, as the imported beef tallow from Ting Hsin's Vietnamese supplier Dai Hanh Phuc Company has not been officially proven suitable for human consumption.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) appealed to the Vietnam government for confirmation on the quality of the beef tallow on Monday, but Hanoi has not yet responded.
The FDA asked all food suppliers using Ting Hsin's beef tallow products to report their use to local health departments before 6 p.m. today. The FDA also required all questionable products to be removed from shelves before midnight on Saturday.
FDA Deputy Director-General Chiang Yu-mei said that Ting Hsin imported beef tallow from Dai Hanh Phuc 18 times during 2013 and 2014, amounting to 2,476 metric tons of tallow.
Chiang said that Ting Hsin mostly sold its eight beef tallow products to the baking industry. The FDA will investigate whether the beef tallow products contain lard oil.
As of press time, Chiang said that the FDA knows of 14 food suppliers selling products made with the suspicious beef tallow all over Taiwan. Local health departments have been notified to remove the questionable products from shelves.
Chiang said that Ting Hsin also imported 110 metric tons of coconut oil from Dai Hanh Phuc in 2012. Chiang said that the FDA is looking into the products made with the coconut oil. Although the coconut oil has a nine-month shelf life, the FDA believes that all of the oil might already have been used in products that were later consumed.
Wowprime Fined over Delay in Reports
Wowprime Corporation was fined NT$3 million (S$125,550) by the Taichung City Government yesterday for delaying its report concerning the questionable lard oil used in some of its subsidiary restaurants' dishes.
Taichung City Deputy Mayor Tsai Bing-kun held an impromptu food security conference yesterday to discuss how to punish Wowprime and the Matsusei supermarket chain.
Four restaurants under Wowprime used shady lard oil products from Cheng-I Food, a company under Ting Hsin. Tsai said that Wowprime admitted to using Cheng-I's lard oil on Sept. 13, but delayed until Oct. 9 to provide the public with a list of the 23 "tainted" restaurant branches.
Wowprime Chairman Steve Day held a press conference to inform consumers how to obtain refunds from the restaurants on Tuesday.