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Investigation identified several problems with food safety

21 May 2009 946 views No Comment

Control Yuan members yesterday called on government health officials in charge of food safety to pay attention to potentially harmful food additives following a report that suggested they are widely used.

The report, which included tests on 50 food products, was written by Control Yuan members Cheng Jen-hung (程仁宏), Yang Mei-ling (楊美鈴), Chao Chang-ping (趙昌平) and Hung Chao-nan (洪昭男). It suggested that local governments should exercise sufficient supervision over food safety.

Cheng told a press conference yesterday that 44 percent of selected dried shrimp, 77 percent of selected dried radishes and 40 percent of selected cold noodles on the market did not meet standards.

The Taichung County Government should tighten its supervision as almost all the dried shrimp examined by the Control Yuan were below hygiene standards, the report said.

Dried shrimp were found to contain excessive sulfur dioxide, which can cause breathlessness, vomiting and diarrhea, the report said, adding that dried radishes, which are often used in rice dumpings, were found to contain too much benzoic acid and sorbic acid — both food preservatives.

In a test of cold noodles to determine whether they contained pollutants, the researchers found high levels of colon bacillus in three out of eight samples in Taipei City and one out of seven in Taipei County.

Cheng said the Control Yuan would continue to monitor the problem over the next six months by inspecting food manufacturing factories around the country and pushing local health officials to strengthen food safety standards.

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