Sat, Jan 14, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Beer findings prompt concern

STRANGE BREW After an aluminum wrapper and rusted staple were found floating in unopened bottles of Taiwan Beer, a Taipei City councilor urged better quality control


A councilor yesterday called for manufacturers to reassess their quality-control management and ensure consumer rights, after highlighting several cases in which objects have been discovered floating in bottles of Taiwan Beer.

Two weeks ago a Banqiao resident surnamed Chang discovered an aluminum wrapper in an unopened bottle of Taiwan Beer he had bought at a local store. He also found a rusted staple stuck on the wrapper.

New Party Taipei City Councilor Li Ching-yuan (李慶元) said that this was not the first case of a foreign object being discovered in a bottle of Taiwan Beer.

Over the past few years, a "condom-like" object, live insects, dead cockroaches, cigarette butts, bottle caps and betel nut shreds have all been discovered in bottles of the nation's favorite brew, Li said.

The bottles, Li said, are mostly reused after they have gone through a washing procedure, but it obviously does not clean out the bottles effectively.

Lien Hsueh-Yung (連學庸), deputy factory-director of the Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corporation in Chunan (竹南), said that 280 million bottles of Taiwan Beer are produced every year.

As an environmental-friendly measure, the company recycles and reuses the bottles after cleaning them, Lien said.

The insides of the bottles are sprayed with water and then turned up-side down to drain the water, he said. Factory personnel then check the bottles to make sure they are clean, he added.

Lien apologized for the incident and said that they would work on improving quality-control at their factories. The company will negotiate with Chang over compensation, Lien added.

Hwang Yu-sheng (黃鈺生), a representative of the Consumer Protection Center of Taipei, said that the amount of compensation would be hard to decide and the decision on how much Taiwan Beer should be fined will be made by Taipei's Department of Finance.

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