Control Yuan member Cheng Jen-hung (程仁宏) said yesterday he might seek an investigation into the manufacture of pig blood cake (豬血糕) after media reports said the snack had been banned in the US.
Local television stations and newspapers cited unnamed sources in Los Angeles County as saying the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) had banned sales of the food, which is made of pig’s blood and sticky rice.
The USDA Web site, however, did not include any information about the reported ban.
In Taiwan, pig blood cake is usually eaten as a steamed snack — served on a wooden stick — or cooked in a hot pot.
Cheng, a former Consumers’ Foundation chairman, said there were also public worries in Taiwan over hygiene issues. He said people were concerned the food could go bad while being produced at room temperature or become contaminated in small or traditional factories.
He said that many people outside Taiwan only learned of the dish after it was voted one of the world’s 10 most unusual foods in a British Web site poll last year.
The reported US ban on the sale of pig blood cake could lead other developed countries to follow suit, he said, adding that it “would be a big blow for the traditional snack.”
Cheng said that he did not rule out applying to the Control Yuan to conduct an investigation into whether local authorities have been sufficiently diligent in ensuring local manufacturers maintain the highest standards.
At a separate setting yesterday, Lucifer Chu (朱學恆), who previously created a YouTube video promoting Taiwan’s pig blood cake, yesterday said that he will post a video protest on the site if the US does not lift the reported ban on the traditional Taiwanese food.
“Will the US also ban German blood sausage and British black pudding?” said Chu, who produced a bilingual video showing himself and other people eating pig blood cake coated with peanut powder and coriander leaves.
Chu said if the ban is maintained, he will make another video protesting what he called “cultural discrimination” by the US.
One of the local producers of pig blood cake, Lee Chien-liang, said the entire process is carried out in low-temperature, sanitary conditions. There is no contamination of the blood during the process, he added.
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