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Taiwan rejects 12,000 bottles of Sriracha tainted with sulfur dioxide

Entire shipment of Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce returned or destroyed in accordance with regulations

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Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce found to contain excess levels of sulfur dioxide. (FDA photo) 

Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce found to contain excess levels of sulfur dioxide. (FDA photo) 

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday (Sept. 19) announced that it rejected over 12,000 bottles of Sriracha hot sauce, which is popular in the U.S., for being tainted with sulfur dioxide.

An inspection of a shipment of Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce imported from the U.S. found bleach content that did not comply with regulations and levels of sulfur dioxide that exceeded FDA standards, reported the Liberty Times. A total of 12,600 bottles totaling 9,991.8 kg were returned or destroyed in accordance with regulations.

Since this was the first time the product had violated regulations, the FDA will increase the rate of inspections. This particular shipment of Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce had been imported from the U.S. by Emporium Corporation (河洛企業).

FDA Deputy Director-General Lin Chin-fu (林金富) was cited as saying according to the "Standards for Specification, Scope, Application, and Limitation of Food Additives," sulfur dioxide should not exceed 0.03 grams per kilogram. However, this batch of chili sauce was found to contain 0.5 g per kg.

Since this is the first instance of non-compliance in the past six months, in the future, importers of this chili sauce from the U.S. will face increased inspection rates. Non-compliant products will be required to be returned or destroyed in accordance with regulations.

Sulfur dioxide has bleaching and color-preservative effects and is an allergen to the human body. Excessive consumption of sulfur dioxide may cause gastrointestinal or respiratory discomfort, such as nausea, vomiting, chest tightness, and breathing difficulties, and may even trigger asthma attacks.