The yolks of duck eggs from two poultry farms in Yunlin County’s Yuanchang Township (元長) that were used in mooncakes were found to contain Sudan IV, a toxic chemical dye, use of which in food is banned, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said yesterday, adding that about 7,000 ducks are to be culled.
Demand for mooncakes rises at this time of the year due to the Mid-Autumn Festival, which is celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth month on the lunar calendar and this year falls on Wednesday next week.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday published the results of tests conducted on 203 mooncakes, which found that mooncakes sold at Tsai Tang Yao (采棠肴) in Taichung contained 1.34 milligrams per kilogram of Sudan IV, a reddish-brown chemical dye.
Photo: Tsai Shu-yuan, Taipei Times
According to the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA), Sudan IV is classified as a Category 3 carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
COA Department of Animal Industry Deputy Director Wang Chung-shu (王忠恕) said the tainted egg yolks came from the Yung Hsin (永信) and Chang Yin (張營) poultry farms, which produce and process duck eggs.
Duck eggs from the two farms were found to contain between 12 and 26 parts per billion of Sudan IV, while ducks had between 196 and 308 parts per billion of Sudan IV, COA data showed.
Photo: Liao Shu-ling, Taipei Times
COA, FDA, EPA and Yunlin County Government officials inspected the two farms on Wednesday and Thursday, and prohibited the removal of any ducks or eggs.
A total of about 7,000 ducks at the two farms are to be culled, because Sudan IV lingers in animal bodies for quite a long time, Wang said, adding that as no residue of the chemical was found on feeding equipment, the farmers might have manually added it into the ducks’ feed.
He emphasized that it was an isolated case, as the FDA has not reported similar incidents in the past three years.
Asked about an uptick in tainted egg scares this year, Wang said some farmers who lack professional training might randomly introduce chemicals to feed based on recommendations from neighbors.
Officials are to issue a recall of the two farms’ eggs and products, but Wang admitted that estimating the actual total would be difficult.
He said the farmers said they produce about 17 boxes, or 3,400 eggs, per day, but did not specify when they started mixing the chemical dye into the feed.
The Yunlin District Prosecutors’ Office has launched an investigation, he added.
NO CONNECTION: Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang said the CECC has linked no deaths so far to the AstraZeneca vaccine Eleven people in the nation have died after receiving the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, but the deaths should not deter older people with chronic health conditions from getting vaccinated. Nine of the deaths — people aged 65 to 97 — took place three hours to one day after the AstraZeneca vaccine was given, the center said, while eight of the 11 deaths were people aged 75 or older, most of whom had chronic health conditions. On Wednesday, the center said that 12 more people — seven women and five men aged 42 to 97 at
HELPING HAND: Vaccine eligibility can likely be widened to cover pregnant women now that the nation has more vaccine doses than it planned for, Chen Shih-chung said Taiwan yesterday received a shipment of 2.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses donated by the US, obtaining its largest single batch of vaccines since the COVID-19 pandemic began early last year. A cargo plane of Taiwanese national carrier China Airlines Ltd (中華航空) carrying the Moderna Inc vaccines landed at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at about 4:30pm, after leaving Memphis, Tennessee, early on Saturday, US time. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) and American Institute in Taiwan Director Brent Christensen were at the airport to welcome the plane. The vaccines were transported to a cold chain logistics center, where they would be inspected
‘NO STRINGS ATTACHED’: The US is donating the shots without any political or economic conditions, and with the singular aim of saving lives, a senior US official said The US was yesterday to ship 2.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to Taiwan, a senior US administration official told Reuters, more than tripling Washington’s previous allocation of shots for the nation. Washington, competing with Beijing to deepen geopolitical clout through so-called “vaccine diplomacy,” had initially promised to donate 750,000 doses to Taiwan, but is increasing that number as US President Joe Biden’s administration advances its pledge to send 80 million US-made shots around the world. The 2.5 million donated doses of the Moderna Inc vaccine would leave Memphis, Tennessee, on a flight belonging to Taiwan’s national carrier, China Airlines Ltd (中華航空), early
VULNERABLE: The CECC has been moving older infected people or those with underlying health conditions, who were in isolation, to hospitals for better health monitoring The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 75 locally transmitted COVID-19 infections, the lowest daily count since the nationwide level 3 alert was issued last month. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said the 75 local infections are 35 males and 40 females, aged from under five to over 80, and they began experiencing symptoms between June 8 and Sunday. New Taipei City reported 38 cases, followed by Taipei with 22, Taoyuan with five, Miaoli County with three, Keelung and Taichung with two each, and Kaohsiung, Yunlin County and Changhua County with one each, CECC