Wei Chuan recalls 12 products on recycled oils revelation
Central News Agency
2014-09-04 11:10 PM
Taipei, Sept. 4 (CNA) Wei Chuan Foods Corp, one of Taiwan's oldest food companies, on Thursday announced a recall of 12 types of products including its popular pork fiber and meat paste following the revelation they had been made with oil recycled from kitchen waste. The food company, a subsidiary of the Ting Hsin International Group, apologized in a late Thursday statement for using adulterated ingredients in 12 of its edible products. Wei Chuan said that in an effort to protect consumers' rights, it has begun pulling the products from the shelves of major retailers, including Carrefour, RT Mart, Far Eastern A-Mart and PxMart. It said it will accept returns and give refunds for the affected products. Wei Chuan admitted that it has used about 15.6 metric tons of oils provided by Kaohsiung-based Chang Guann Co. since April as ingredients for the products. Chang Guann has allegedly been using recycled oils to produce what it sold as lard-based oil. According to Chang Guann, the oil was sourced between February and August by an individual named Kuo Lieh-cheng, who allegedly worked with five others to use a phony waste processing company as a front to collect oils meant for recycling in uses other than human consumption. Chang Guann had bought 242 metric tons of oils provided by Kuo and made them into 782 metric tons of products sold as lard-based oils. The apparently unscrupulous businessmen are believed to have gone so far as to collect grease by-products from leather processing plants to market as edible oils, police said. Wei Chuan said that it took the initiative to report to health authorities in Taipei about its problematic products and began a recall immediately. This was not the first time Wei Chuan had used problematic ingredients in its products. Last year, it was accused of using adulterated ingredients in 21 of its edible oil products. According to the Ministry of Education, suppliers of school lunches at more than 100 elementary and secondary schools in Greater Taipei have used cooking oil from Chang Guann. Though not all the oils are problematic, the ministry has instructed those schools to suspend the use of oil from that producer and to avoid the 12 affected Wei Chuan products. Chang Guann Chairman Yeh Wen-hsiang said his company is an industry veteran with more than 20 years experience and was unaware that the oil provided was problematic. He apologized to the public and said he was sorry that the company had been implicated. (By Tien Yu-pin, Wang Shwu-fen, Chen Chi-chung, Ku Chuan, Huang Lee-yun and Evelyn Kao)
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