Tripod King fined again
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-03-05 05:32 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taichung City fined the Tripod King restaurant group NT$2.8 million (US$92,000) Wednesday and did not exclude ordering it to cease operations after alleged false claims.

Earlier in the week, the city already issued a fine of NT$1 million (US$33,000) after it was discovered that ingredients in a hotpot soup were not as natural as the company claimed.

The latest incident surrounded salt used in meat served at Tripod King’s Yan Shyuan affiliate. During questioning by Taichung health department officials, company head Chen Shih-ming reportedly admitted that the claim the company had set up its own salt manufacturing unit to supply its restaurants was false. The accusations were first published by Chinese-language Next Magazine earlier in the day.

As a result, Taichung City Vice Mayor Tsai Ping-kun announced the new fines. Prompted by reporters, he said he could not exclude that the city could order Tripod King to cease operations altogether.

Yan Shyuan’s claims of owning a salt production plant of its own in Kaohsiung were totally false, as was the claim it had produced what it called a “salt diamond” out of truffles imported from France, reports said. First checks indicated the product might have been mixed with flour, according to city inspectors.

Tsai told reporters that the fines for Yan Shyuan were based on the amount of false advertising by the restaurant, including claims that its products had a reduced salt content less harmful to health.

A next round of fines could reach NT$3 million (US$99,000) or include an order to cease or suspend operations, the vice mayor said.

Next Magazine also accused Tripod King of asking excessive prices, selling some cheap products at a price of up to 88 times the basic cost.

Tsai said the city’s investigations into the restaurant group would continue.

Food safety has been a hotly debated topic since large-scale fraud with olive oil and other edible oil products was discovered late last year.

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