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《TAIPEI TIMES》 Pork with leanness-enhancing additive sold out: FDA


A package of a cut of pork by Taiwan Sugar Corp found to contain a leanness-enhancing additive is pictured in an undated photograph.
Photo courtesy of the Taichung Health Bureau

A package of a cut of pork by Taiwan Sugar Corp found to contain a leanness-enhancing additive is pictured in an undated photograph. Photo courtesy of the Taichung Health Bureau

2024/02/04 03:00

INVESTIGATION: The contaminated batch consisting of 819kg products was the first time a beta-agonist was detected in domestic pork in a decade, a public health official said

By Lee I-chia / Staff reporter, with CNA

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday said a preliminary investigation found that Taiwan Sugar Corp (Taisugar, 台糖) pork products containing an illegal leanness-enhancing additive have sold out, mainly in southern Taiwan.

The agency made the remarks after the Taichung Health Bureau on Friday said that its latest inspection detected traces of cimbuterol, an illegal animal feed additive, in frozen sliced pork butt by Taisugar.

The bureau said its annual meat inspections before the Lunar New Year last month found Taisugar’s frozen sliced pork butt sold at the Ministry of National Defense’s (MND) General Welfare Service in Taichung contained cimbuterol, a banned beta-agonist added to animal feed to improve leanness, which is not allowed in any amount.

The bureau said the meat products have Certified Agricultural Standards and Traceability Agricultural Product labels, with the traceability No. 23121150490-52513 and an expiration date of June 10.

While the product manufacturing is supervised by Taisugar, the slaughtering and processing procedures are carried out by a company in Pingtung County, it added.

It said Pxmart (全聯實業) branches and the MND’s welfare station in Taichung were told to remove the product from store shelves and recall them, and it might also impose a fine on the Taichung welfare station for contravening the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation (食品安全衛生管理法).

The health departments of Pingtung County and Tainan, where the product was manufactured and where Taisugar’s headquarters are located respectively, have also been notified of the case, the Taichung Health Bureau said, adding that according to regulations, the company can apply for a reinspection.

Taisugar on Friday said that, as a state-owned enterprise, it has never purchased or used “lean meat agents,” and that it demands that all its feed additive suppliers submit test reports regularly, while it also conducts random inspections for feed additives.

The company said it commissions slaughtering and slicing procedures to other companies, so the detected residue of cimbuterol could be from cross-contamination at the slaughterhouse.

This was the first time a beta-agonist was detected in domestic pork in a decade.

FDA Deputy Director Lin Chin-fu (林金富) yesterday said the batch consists of 2,730 bags (300g per bag), totaling 819kg, and it was sold through Taisugar’s online shopping platform, Ego888 (台糖健康易購網); Iklmall (億客成) stores and Pxmart branches.

The Tainan Public Health Bureau is still investigating where the products have been sold, but preliminary information shows that they were mostly sold in southern Taiwan, Lin said, adding that the Ministry of Agriculture is also investigating the source of cimbuterol.

As an inspection is being carried out at the facilities, Taisugar has applied to the Taichung City Government for re-examination, he said.

Taisugar yesterday announced that it is recalling all of its Boston butt pork products after one such item was found to contain cimbuterol.

It added it was also conducting investigations of its pig farms, feed mills, and packing houses and has sent hair of the pigs at its farms to the National Animal Industry Foundation for testing.

新聞來源:TAIPEI TIMES

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