Thu, Feb 19, 2015 - Page 2 News List

City health agency denies cover-up in duck-blood case

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

The Taipei City Department of Health yesterday dismissed a media report accusing the agency of covering up for Shuang Peng Food (雙鵬) after tests showed that its duck-blood pudding contained chicken blood.

The department made the remarks one day after SET-TV (三立電視) cited results of a random test on duck-blood pudding conducted by the agency in October 2013.

The results showed that of the 20 duck-blood puddings found to contain both duck and chicken DNA, 15 — or nearly 75 percent — were manufactured by Shuang Peng.

“What is even more absurd is that three months after the tests, the department issued a press release reassuring the public that all the duck-blood pudding products it tested met regulatory hygienic standards and that there was no need to worry,” the TV station said.

The news station also quoted former Taipei health commissioner Lin Chi-hung (林奇宏) as saying that there were too many random food testings conducted during his term for him to remember any particular one, let alone those carried out two years ago.

Dismissing the accusations, the department said in a press release yesterday that there was absolutely no cover-up involved in the matter.

“Not only did we publish the test results on Jan. 20 last year and advise consumers to exercise caution in choosing duck-blood pudding, but we also referred the case to the Public Health Department of New Taipei City — where one of Shuang Peng’s three factories are located — to trace the sources of the tainted items,” the agency said.

The department said Shuang Peng’s alleged adulteration of duck-blood pudding only came to light after the Taichung District Prosecutors’ Office acted on an anonymous tip-off that the company was manufacturing blood pudding with chicken blood that was only suitable for animal use because it was contaminated with chicken feathers and feces during the slaughtering process.

According to the Taichung District Prosecutors’ Office, Shuang Peng had been selling the tainted product to numerous food companies, hot pot restaurants, small eateries and food processing factories that had no knowledge of its real content since November 2012.

New Taipei City’s health department has revoked Shuang Peng’s factory license and imposed a NT$5 million (US$167,000) fine in accordance with Article 15 of the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation (食品安全衛生管理法), which prohibits the sales and manufacturing of adulterated or counterfeited foods.

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