Fri, Jan 11, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Firm accused of selling expired creamer

TOO LATE:Officials said that more than 2.5 tonnes of creamer past the due date were mixed in with other products and had already been consumed by the time of discovery

By Fang Chih-hsien and Huang Chien-hua  /  Staff reporters

Kaohsiung Department of Health officials, prosecutors and investigators yesterday inspect a Kaohsiung warehouse where expired creamer was stored.

Photo courtesy of the Kaohsiung Department of Health

At least 2,513kg of expired creamer made its way into supermarkets and spread to karaoke bars, beverage stores and breakfast stores, the Kaohsiung Department of Health said yesterday.

“Non-dairy creamer SPD20,” which expired on July, 27, 2017, was allegedly relabeled with new expiry dates, after which a Kaohsiung trading company mixed it with other creamer products, repackaged it and sold it to downstream businesses as “AAA-grade creamer,” “Dutch creamer” and “rose-flavored creamer” in 1kg and 25kg packages, the department said.

Acting on a lead from an informant, prosecutors and investigators working with the department on Dec. 26 raided warehouses belonging to Easecom Trading Co (易洲公司) in the city’s Lingya (苓雅) and Ciaotou (橋頭) districts, where they seized 8,441kg of creamer, as well as account ledgers.

Prosecutors Wu Shao-chin (吳韶芹) and Chu Wan-chi (朱婉綺) summoned seven defendants and witnesses for questioning.

The main suspect, surnamed Ko (柯), has been charged with fraud, forgery and multiple breaches of the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation (食品安全衛生管理法).

He was released on bail of NT$100,000 (US$3,249), as prosecutors deemed detention unnecessary.

Other suspects were released without bail.

Department investigators found that all potentially tainted creamer sold to downstream businesses had been consumed, it said.

With the Lunar New Year holiday approaching, the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office urged food companies to exercise self-discipline and not challenge the law.

Food companies should abide by the law and ensure that all materials, products and intermediate products have not expired, or they could be fined NT$60,000 to NT$200 million, and the problematic goods would be confiscated and destroyed, the department said.

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