Wed, May 22, 2019 - Page 4 News List

Foreign egg-based products to require safety certification

Staff writer, with CNA

Imported eggs and egg-based products will from August not be allowed into Taiwan without first receiving food safety certification following a fipronil scare in Europe and Asia, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) senior specialist Tung Ching-hsin (董靜馨) said on Monday.

Eggs and egg products need to be highly regulated because of the risk of contamination during processing, which is why official food safety permits are needed, Tung said.

Permits would be required from exporting countries for fresh eggs, whole egg liquid, liquid egg whites, liquid egg yolks, whole egg powder and yolk powder, Tung said.

On April 30, the Taipei City Government also announced a new standard operating procedure requiring food companies to report food safety issues to the city government within 24 hours of their discovery.

The move was partially motivated by tainted eggs found in inspections over the past year.

Food and Drug Division Director Wang Ming-li (王明理) at the time said that chain supermarkets in the city that had sold tainted eggs would have had to notify the department within 24 hours under the new requirement.

The FDA has conducted systematic inspections of imported eggs since the beginning of the year, Tung said.

First-time importers must have their plants inspected by the FDA to ensure sanitary standards, she added.

The move is a response to the fipronil egg scare that has affected some European and Asian nations over the past two years.

Fipronil is a broad-spectrum insecticide that kills fleas, but might also contaminate soil and animals when used on poultry farms.

A total of 2,661 tonnes of eggs and derivative products from the US, Italy, Ukraine, France and India were imported last year, FDA data showed.

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