Thu, Nov 20, 2014 - Page 4 News List

FDA drafts new rules on processed meat products

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has rolled out draft regulations for mandatory labeling of reconstituted meats following a recent food scare in which the nation’s largest supplier of beef products, Shu-seng (樹森開發), was found to have mixed reconstituted beef with beef tallow powder tainted with inferior oil to enhance flavor.

Under the draft regulations, peddlers of meat or fish that is striped, sliced, minced, restructured, glued or pressed, but still appears to be one piece of meat or fish, are mandated to label the product as “reconstituted” and “fully cooked only,” or use other terms with similar meanings.

“While the current Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation (食品安全衛生管理法) already carries a fine ranging from NT$40,000 to NT$4 million (US$1,296 to US$129,700) for restaurants, eateries and night market vendors that falsely label reconstituted meat products — and from NT$30,000 to NT$3 million for those that fail to attach such a label — the draft regulations are designed to offer a clearer definition of reconstituted meats,” FDA Division of Food Safety Deputy Director Hsueh Fu-chin (薛復琴) said.

Hsueh said establishments in the food industry are required to either label prepackaged meats, print information on menus or put up a conspicuous sign identifying the meats’ ingredients and processing manner in dining areas.

However, food products that have been widely recognized as processed — such as pork meatballs, hot dogs, ham, hamburger patties and sausages — are not governed by the draft regulation, Hsueh said.

“The regulations are expected to be implemented in the middle of next month after the administration finishes gathering opinions on the proposal,” Hsueh said.

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