TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Inspectors in Taichung found erroneous expiration labels on 12 tons of frozen abalone and other seafood in the latest such scandal to hit the island’s food sector, reports said Friday.
Following a spate of adulterated-oil scandals some three years ago, inspections and penalties for food safety violations were tightened, but recent weeks saw several instances of food producers and distributors reselling expired products with fraudulent expiration labels.
In the latest instance, Taichung City Health Department inspectors visited warehouses owned or rented by Hung Shuo Seafood Co. (宏碩海產公司) in the city’s Nantun District and found 905 boxes and 73 bags containing a total of 12,290.5 kilograms of frozen abalone as well as 60 boxes of shrimp weighing a total of 648 kg, all of them with suspicious labels, reports said.
The original expiration date was April-May 2017, but the labels had been changed to read May 2018, according to media reports. The inspectors sealed all products, preventing them from being sold by the seafood company.
A tipoff from the public alerted the Health Department to the suspected practice, with the Taichung District Prosecutors Office launching an investigation.
The official fines for changing expiration labels range from NT$60,000 (US$1,996) to NT$200 million (US$6.6 million).