Fri, Jul 26, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Tests find 13% of dough-based food at markets not safe

By Hsiao Yu-hsin  /  Staff reporter

Consumers’ Foundation officials hold a news conference on food safety in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Hsiao Yu-hsin, Taipei Times

The Consumers’ Foundation has found that 13 percent of food made from dough at traditional markets does not meet government safety standards.

The nonprofit foundation in March and April tested 80 food products made from dough that were sold at traditional markets in Taipei, New Taipei City, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung, as well as Nantou County, foundation president Lei Li-fen (雷立芬) said yesterday.

It found excessive preservatives and germicides in 11 of the products, she said.

For example, it found dehydroacetic acid in one mochi product and benzoic acid in three noodle dishes, two dumpling wrappers, one wonton wrapper and one scallion pancake, Lei said.

To extend their products’ shelf life, some manufacturers add preservatives, but if too much is used, it can have a negative effect on a person’s kidneys and liver, or they might suffer a stomach ache or diarrhea, she said.

When shopping for food made from dough, consumers should avoid products with an unnaturally white color or a pungent smell, she said.

People should pay attention to how the food is stored. If kept properly, it is less likely to contain excessive amounts of preservatives or germicides, she said.

The use of preservatives and germicides is banned in noodles, dumpling wrappers and other dough-based foods, the foundation said, adding that to avoid food from going bad, it should refrigerated when being sold.

The foundation has handed its results to the Food and Drug Administration, attorney Hsu Tse-yu (徐則鈺) said.

Under Article 18 of the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation (食品安全衛生管理法), the government can order the stores to stop selling the unsafe food and impose a find of NT$30,000 to NT$3 million (US$965 to US$96,510) if they fail to rectify the issue, he said.

In more serious cases, the government may revoke stores’ commercial licenses, he added.

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