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3 Taiwanese food companies mislabel liquid eggs containing imports as entirely local

Health bureau finds that liquid egg processors mixed Brazilian and Turkish eggs with local ones, incorrectly labeled as 'made in Taiwan'

Government tracing the whereabouts of imported eggs. (CNA photo)

Government tracing the whereabouts of imported eggs. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Taipei City Department of Health said on Wednesday (Sept. 20) that Fushang Sheng Co., Ltd. had mixed imported eggs with domestic eggs in their liquid egg production, falsely labeling Taiwan as the product's country of origin, per PTS.

Fushang Sheng’s liquid eggs were sold to three companies catering school lunches at 13 schools and 20 food businesses in New Taipei. They were used in scrambled eggs, bread, and cakes, according to the health department.

City officials pledged to take swift action to reprimand Fushang Sheng. The company faces a potential fine of NT$480,000 (US$15,000) for violating the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation.

In addition, in Taichung, two other food companies, Jin Bao Egg Technology Co., Ltd. and SDM Food Co., Ltd., processing liquid eggs were found to be using Brazilian and Turkish eggs, falsely labeling them as Taiwanese. This has raised concerns about "origin laundering" by these three companies.

The Ministry of Agriculture said that the errors in origin labeling may be because of a misunderstanding of regulations about the "substantial transformation" of eggs into frozen liquid eggs. "When this frozen liquid egg was imported in the past, it was a substantial transformation. After the transformation, its manufacturing location can be labeled as Taiwan," Deputy Agriculture Minister Chen Junne-jih (陳駿季) said.

However, the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that even if eggs from different origins are mixed to make "unsterilized liquid eggs," the country of origin must be marked one by one according to the ingredients. Therefore, Chen said that "substantive transformation" may not apply.

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Agriculture and the FDA launched a joint inspection of the cold supply chain storage of imported eggs in 13 cities and seven counties. "Are expired products stored in separate zones in accordance with the provisions of the Food Safety Law? Are they clearly marked to prevent them from flowing into the food chain? This is the first focus of the inspection," said FDA Deputy Director Lin Chin-fu (林金富).

The FDA added that eggs imported under the Ministry of Agriculture's special directive will be completely monitored and inspected, batch by batch. The government will also begin a counseling service for more than 50 liquid egg factories in Taiwan to ensure full compliance with the Food Safety Law.