The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) today (November 7) issued a Food Safety Order to prohibit, with effect from noon today, importing into and supplying within Hong Kong all edible fats and oils (of animal or plant origin) produced by Beei Hae Oil And Fats Co Ltd and Shyeh Chyng Enterprise Co Ltd in Taiwan and all food products made with the above-mentioned fats and oils. Food traders are also ordered to recall within a period of 14 days from noon today the affected food supplied by them and dispose of such food subsequently in the manner set out in the Order, which was gazetted today.
A CFS spokesman said, "The Taiwanese authorities announced earlier that Beei Hae and Shyeh Chyng were suspected to have produced edible fats and oils from substandard ingredients (such as beef tallow for animal feeds and inedible fats and oils of both animal and plant origins). Coupled with announcements made by the Taiwanese authorities earlier on other problematic fats and oils products in Taiwan, the FEHD has reasonable grounds to believe that fats and oils from both Beei Hae and Shyeh Chyng are very likely unfit for human consumption, unless there is official notification from the Taiwanese authorities to suggest otherwise. Investigation by the FEHD also revealed that some traders in Hong Kong had imported lard from these two companies."
He added, "To further safeguard Hong Kong's public health, the FEHD considers that, subsequent to the ones issued on September 14 and October 29, a third Food Safety Order needs to be made to put it beyond doubt that all edible fats and oils produced by Beei Hae and Shyeh Chyng, as well as all food products manufactured with those fats and oils, are prohibited from being imported into and supplied within Hong Kong, and to mandate their recall in a systematic manner so as to ensure that they are no longer in circulation in the local market."
As the safety and quality of Taiwan's fats and oils products remain questionable, the FEHD earlier took precautionary measures to stop the import into and supply within Hong Kong of all edible oils from Taiwan. The measures are still in force, covering all fats and oils produced in Taiwan which are not stipulated in the three Orders.
Anyone found guilty of contravening any terms of the Order is liable to a maximum fine of $100,000 and imprisonment for 12 months.
The CFS will continue to follow up on the incident and take appropriate action, which includes liaising closely with the Taiwanese authorities, conducting investigation and monitoring the recall. The CFS will also adopt a risk-based approach and enhance surveillance of edible oil and relatively high-risk foods imported from other places to ensure food safety.
Ends/Friday, November 7, 2014