Tue, Jun 19, 2012 - Page 2 News List

Taipei City finds bacteria in frozen foods, beverages

Staff writer, with CNA

E. coli bacteria and excessive levels of additives were found in a number of beverages and frozen food items, Taipei City’s Department of Health said yesterday.

Following checks on 69 beverages and 62 frozen food items, officials discovered four beverages and two frozen products contained E. coli and other bacteria.

In addition, inspections on 41 ingredients used in the products showed levels of preservatives, artificial sweeteners and coloring agents in three were too high.

The relevant products will not only be taken off the shelves, but will be tested again, said Chen Li-chi (陳立奇), head of the Food and Drug Administration.

If the products are found to be in violation of the Act Governing Food Sanitation (食品衛生管理法), a fine of NT$30,000 to NT$150,000 may be imposed, Chen said.

The department also carried out tests on samples of meat sold at traditional and wholesale markets and supermarkets. As a part its food safety efforts, it checked 20 chicken samples, six pork, seven mutton, four duck, seven beef and three goose products.

Only one pork product, supplied by a slaughterhouse in New Taipei City (新北市), failed to meet safety standards because it contained excessive levels of sulfonamide, the report showed.

Chen said sulfonamide can cause abdominal discomfort and affect humans’ renal function.

Meanwhile, ahead of Saturday’s Dragon Boat Festival, the city’s health department has also checked for additives, preservatives, bleaching agents, coloring agents, pesticide residues and aflatoxin in zongzi (粽子, glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves), which are traditionally eaten around the Dragon Boat Festival.

Six of the 100 randomly selected items tested below standard, according to a report released by the department.

The department said it has asked the sellers to remove the sub-standard products from their shelves.

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