Hong Kong will be on guard to see if there are foods there that contain a questionable lard-based shortening from Taiwan, a Hong Kong official said yesterday.
Noting that Taiwanese authorities have identified more than 70 food companies that have been using a type of lard produced by Kao-hsiung-based Chang Guann Co (強冠企業), which was found to contain recycled kitchen oil, Hong Kong Food and Health Bureau Secretary Ko Wing-man (高永文) said that the city would also check whether any foods other than Maxim’s Cakes’ (美心西餅) pineapple buns have been using questionable shortening imported from Taiwan.
Maxim’s Cakes, a Hong Kong company that also has shops in Taiwan, said on Friday that it had recalled all of its pineapple buns after it was discovered that its shortening supplier, Chang Guann, was among the companies using recycled kitchen oil.
Hong Kong authorities will also try to trace the buyers of the tainted lard imported by Dah Chong Hong Kong Holdings from Taiwan, Ko said.
Dah Chong has recalled all related products, pending the investigation by Hong Kong health authorities.
A bakery owner said that its sales of the popular pineapple buns had dropped slightly since the scandal broke late on Thursday, although only Maxim’s Cakes was confirmed to have been using the tainted lard.
A Hong Kong importer of Taiwanese food said that while its products do not contain lard, its sales are likely to drop by 20 percent to 30 percent over the next three months because consumers will be less inclined to buy Taiwanese foods.
Among other businesses in Hong Kong affected by the scandal is Taiwan-based Black Bridge Foods (黑橋牌食品), which had to pull its sticky rice dumplings from the shelves because it was using the substandard shortening in the dumplings’ manufacturing.
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