TAIPEI - Almost a third of Chinese New Year foods inspected by Taipei's Department of Health (DOH) were found to be in violation of government standards, according to official results released yesterday.
A health official explained that three main categories of food, including pickled vegetables, candied fruits as well as dried fruits and vegetables, were inspected by the DOH.
Of the 100 samples, 27 failed to pass the department's inspection. The DOH further inspected 57 samples for labeling and found that 21 were not in compliance with government regulations.
The 100 samples were inspected for food additives, including preservatives, flavorings and colorings, as well as bleach and formalin.
The official said that 38.6 per cent of the pickled vegetables examined were found to be in violation of regulations, while 23.8 per cent of the candied fruit samples did not pass inspection.
There were no problems, however, found with the dried fruit and vegetable samples, the official added.
The candied fruit samples that failed inspection mainly had an excessive amount of flavoring, while the pickled vegetable samples mainly had an excessive amount of preservatives.
The official explained that the products have been ordered off shelves, and that the government is in the process of identifying the source firms.
The firms will be fined NT$30,000 (S$1,300) to NT$150,000, according to the Act Governing Food Sanitation.
Of the 57 samples inspected for labeling, 21 were found in violation of regulations for failing to clearly mark the additives used.
The official added that three firms were found to be repeat offenders, and that they will be penalized according to law.