TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Inspectors in Kaohsiung found more than 1,000 kilograms of prawns possibly more than one year past their expiration date, with mostly hotpot restaurants in six cities and counties still serving the seafood to customers, reports said Friday.
Taiwan has been hit by a wave of recent incidents where food producers and distributors forged labels in order to sell products way past their sell-by dates.
In the latest case, a Taipei-registered company called Fu Yu (福有) had stored 1,041 kg of expired prawns at a Kaohsiung warehouse, which were found after a tipoff alleging that a department store in Tainan had been using the seafood.
Fu Yu had reportedly supplied the problem prawns to 17 restaurants, mostly hotpot places, in Taipei City, New Taipei City, Taichung City, Chiayi County, Tainan City and Kaohsiung City.
There were indications that some of the prawns with an expiration date of March 1 last year were still being moved from the Kaohsiung warehouse to clients as told by the company headquarters in Taipei, officials said. There were 20 boxes of such seafood, while 41 other boxes had an expiration date of April 21 of this year.
The fines for such practices range from NT$60,000 (US$1,990) to NT$200 million (US$6.6 million). The company chief, a man surnamed Liao, reportedly admitted that he had sold products past their expiration date for at least two years. He was immediately fined NT$1.2 million (US$39,800), his company’s business license was canceled and the case handed over to prosecutors, officials said.