Sat, Jun 15, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Prosecutors probe firm for alleged use of expired egg yolk

UNWITTING ACCESSORY:Several other companies unknowingly helped to create, store and later repurpose the powder into wellness products

By Huang Chien-hua and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Kaohsiung Deputy Chief Prosecutor Ko Kuang-hui speaks at a news conference at the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office in an undated photograph.

Photo: Huang Chien-hua, Taipei Times

The Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday announced a food product tampering case against a health and wellness company that allegedly used powdered egg yolk well beyond its expiration date.

The primary suspect is the owner of the company, surnamed Chen (陳), who would not be allowed to travel abroad until further notice, the office said.

After being informed of a possible crime by the Kaohsiung Department of Health, the office organized a task force that on May 29 carried out inspections and searches of seven locations in Kaohsiung, Tainan, Taichung and Yunlin County, it said.

Those searches yielded 5.4 tonnes of expired powdered egg yolk and 45.7 tonnes of food products allegedly made with the expired powdered egg yolk, as well as financial documents, which were seized as evidence, the office said, adding that seven suspects, including Chen, and a witness were interviewed.

Evidence shows that Chen in 2008 and 2009 employed an unknowing contractor to produce and store the powdered egg yolk, it said.

One month after the powdered egg yolk passed its expiration date of May 2010, Chen allegedly gave it to other unwitting contractors to manufacture 28 health and wellness products, mostly in pill form, including Haoxinquan (好欣泉), Jianyading (健雅錠) and Yichangduo (益常多), it added.

Chen allegedly distributed these products through his clinic and other parties that apparently did not know that the products were tainted, the office said, adding that the department is leading an effort with other local authorities to track down the affected products and distributors.

Using expired components for food products or drugs contravenes the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation (食品安全衛生管理法) and is punishable by a fine of NT$60,000 to NT$200 million (US$1,903 to US$6.3 million), the office said.

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