Expired ingredients found in Hsia Wei Hsien shrimp snacks

2017/05/18 17:11:43 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Photo courtesy of  Food and Drug Administration

Photo courtesy of Food and Drug Administration

Taipei, May 18 (CNA) The producer of a shrimp snack popular in Taiwan has been caught using expired raw materials, including bonito extract powder that is nearly three years past its expiration date.

Based on a tip-off, investigators from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and local health authorities, along with prosecutors, raided the Yu Zong Foods Co. (裕榮食品) in Daliao District of Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan on Wednesday, seizing expired bonito extract powder, anhydrous citric acid and red yeast rice powder.

During the inspection, the company, founded in 1971, was found to have used the expired ingredients in the production of its popular shrimp snacks under the brand name Hsia Wei Hsien (蝦味先), as well as a soybean powder product, according to the FDA.

Four out of the seven flavors in which Hsia Wei Hsien shrimp snacks are offered, were mixed with expired bonito extract powder and anhydrous citric acid. They are kimchi, Mexican smoky, teriyaki, and grilled-squid-with-honey flavors.

Expired red yeast rice powder was used to produce the sprouted soybean powder, which Yu Zong Foods was contracted by a biotech company to make, the FDA said.

A total of 2,371.5 kilograms of expired raw materials and problematic products were seized, the FDA went on, adding that it has ordered all five products must be removed from store shelves by Friday midnight.

An investigation has been kicked off to find out if the company used the expired raw materials deliberately in violation of fraud laws, the administration said.

It pointed out that under the Food Safety and Sanitation Act, those who produce, pack, store or sell expired food products are subject to a fine ranging from NT$60,000 (US$1,984) to NT$200 million.

(By Chang Ming-hsuan and Elizabeth Hsu)

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