Mon, Aug 13, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Tainted liquid egg products sold

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

People are pictured at Yuanshan’s Taoyuan factory yesterday as Taoyuan Department of Public Health staff continue their investigation into the firm’s products.

Photo: Chen Yun, Taipei Times

Yuanshan (元山蛋品有限公司), an egg products firm, has been selling liquid egg products tainted with spoiled eggs, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said yesterday.

Officials from the Ministry of Justice’s Investigation Bureau and health officials from Changhua and Taoyuan counties, under the command of the Taoyuan District Prosecutors’ Office, on Saturday launched an investigation of the company’s factories, the FDA said.

Spoiled eggs tainted with chicken excrement, eggshell pieces and maggots were found in liquid egg products at a factory in Taoyuan’s Pingjhen District (平鎮), the FDA said, adding that 1,620.5kg of the problematic products were sealed up and the factory ordered to suspend operations.

About 25.2 tonnes of expired liquid egg products were found and sealed at the company’s factory in Taoyuan’s Longtan District (龍潭), the Taoyuan Department of Public Health said, adding that it ordered the firm to recall all of its liquid egg products.

FDA Northern Center Deputy Director Cheng Wei-chih (鄭維智) said the company has allegedly been purchasing spoiled eggs from egg farms and using the weekends to mix them with fresh eggs to make its products since 2016.

Records show that most of the tainted products were sold to restaurants and bakeries in Taoyuan, Hsinchu and Miaoli counties, the Taoyuan department said.

FDA Northern Center Director Chiu Hsiu-yi (邱秀儀) said the company had failed the Good Hygienic Practices requirements 17 times during agency inspections since 2014, but had always passed re-inspections and was not fined.

However, it was fined in June for salmonella contamination in its liquid egg white products, she said.

The company could be fined between NT$60,000 and NT$200 million (US$1,954 and US$6.51 million) for producing and storing expired egg products under the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation (食品安全衛生管理法).

Prosecutors have information on where the spoiled eggs were purchased, and it would ask the Council of Agriculture to investigate whether the egg farms contravened the law, Cheng said.

The Taoyuan District Prosecutors’ Office said it seized account books and documents as well as the cellphones of the defendants — a father and son surnamed Hsiao (蕭) who run the company — and would summon the pair, as well as 15 others as witnesses to answer questions.

Additional reporting by CNA

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