Sat, Apr 04, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Noodle brand Tiger falsified origin and expiry dates: FDA

MISLABELING:The firm labeled its products as made in Vietnam, instead of China, and extended the expiry date by one year, the food agency said

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Noodle producer Tiger Brand (虎牌) has been ordered to pull five of its products from the shelves before Monday after it was discovered that the Taiwanese company had falsified expiry dates and manufacturing locations, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said.

In a press release yesterday, the FDA said that a joint inspection with Yilan County and Taipei City health officials on Wednesday and Thursday found that five products from Taipei-based Tiger Brand Food Co (虎牌食品) and Yilan-based Tiger Brand Cheng Tung Industrial Co (虎牌正通) did not conform to labeling regulations.

One of them, Bean Threads (虎牌粉皮), was labeled on its ready-for-sale package as being manufactured in Vietnam, but China was printed as the location of manufacture on a bulk package, the FDA said.

As for the other four bean noodle products, the FDA said that their shelf life was stated as two years on the raw packaging, but as three years on other packaging.

“The five foodstuffs clearly defied the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation (食品安全衛生管理法) and must be pulled off the shelves nationwide by Monday midnight,” the food agency said.

Wang Ming-li (王明理), director of the food and drug division at Taipei’s Department of Health, said Tiger Brand claimed that it switched from Vietnam to China for imports of bean noodles in May 2013, after news reports alleging that Vietnam-made products were tainted with alum.

“The company said it continued to use old packaging from the time it was still purchasing bean noodles from Vietnam. It also admitted that it deliberately changed the expiry date from two years to three years, which started from the day they were repackaged,” Wang said.

Wang said dishonest labeling of place of origin carries a fine ranging from NT$40,000 to NT$4 million (US$1,278 to US$127,783).

The case has been referred to prosecutors, who are set to determine whether the act of falsifying expiry dates constitutes as fraud.

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