The Council of Agriculture (COA) will step up inspections of dairy farms and wholesale meat markets in a bid to improve food safety supervision.
The council will increase the number of dairy farms it checks regularly for the use veterinary-prescribed drugs from 10,000 per year to about 20,000 annually, Council of Agriculture Deputy Minister Wang Cheng-teng (王政騰) said.
The inspections of pigs at wholesale markets will be increased from 500 carcasses per month to 1,000 per month, Wang said.
The announcement came in the wake of a recent case of tainted chicken found in lunches at an elementary school in Banciao District (板橋), New Taipei City (新北市). Although the meat was council certified, it was found to contain an antibiotic agent called Doxycycline, which is banned.
Wang said poultry products would also be tested for residues of harmful chemical substances.
Food manufacturers that wish to obtain the council’s Certified Agricultural Standards (CAS) label for their products will be required to allow inspections of their factories every two months, he said.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education will increase its efforts to monitor the safety of school meals, said Wang Chun-chuan (王俊權), director of the ministry’s Department of Physical Education.
At present, the ministry conducts 100 annual random inspections nationwide of food suppliers that serve schools.
The use of tainted chicken at a Banciao school was reported late last month by the Consumer Protection Commission. The government refused to disclose the name of the school, which reportedly acquired the meat from the New Taipei City Farmers’ Association, which sourced it from a Taoyuan food company that sells CAS-certified products.