Latest developments of CFS' investigations into the incident of "substandard lard" from Taiwan

The Centre for Food and Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department continued investigation into the incident of "substandard lard" from Taiwan. A spokesman for the CFS today (September 9) said that, according to the latest information provided by the Taiwanese authorities, no substandard lard has been detected to have entered the Hong Kong market so far.

The spokesman said that the CFS received notification from the Taiwanese authorities this afternoon informing that although Chang Guann Co., Ltd (Chang Guann) had exported products to Hong Kong, the products concerned, including those CG Fragrant Lard Oil imported by Urban Food Limited from Chang Guann, were not the substandard lard detected by the Taiwanese authorities. They were produced by different production lines and were not contaminated. According to the investigations of the Taiwanese authorities, most of the substandard lard products were used by the vendors in Taiwan during the production of snacks. A small portion was used in food processing.

So far, the Taiwanese authorities established that two kinds of products, manufactured by Wei Chuan Foods Corporation with substandard lard, had been exported to Hong Kong. The CFS was informed that 5,400 cans of the affected products had been imported by a Hong Kong importer.

Products details are as follows:

1. "Wei Sao Bao" Pork Floss
Packaging size: 230 grams
Production date: April 14, 2014; June 11, 2014 and August 4, 2014

2. "Wei Sao Bao" Seaweed Pork Floss
Packaging size: 230 grams
Production date: July 31, 2014

The spokesman said, "Members of the public should stop eating the aforesaid products and contact the retailers concerned. The CFS will alert the trade of the incident and take follow-up actions, which include contacting the importer concerned and requesting the company to submit transaction records of their food within a specified time to facilitate tracking and marking and sealing of the possibly affected products to safeguard food safety."

He added, "Concerning the high-risk and possibly contaminated food and lard samples taken by the CFS, there is no update on the test results. As at today, the test results of 40 samples, comprising lard and 12 different types of food products, were all satisfactory."

With regard to media reports that Lam Soon Products Supply (Hong Kong) Company Limited had imported Chang Guann products, the CFS contacted the person in charge of the company and learned that the date of the last batch of relevant products purchased by the company was February 10, 2014. According to the information of the Taiwanese authorities, the oil products did not fall into the scope of the investigation.

Finally, Taiwan authorities requested the help of the CFS yesterday in providing information on Globalway Corporation Limited, a company suspected to be involved in exporting lard to Chang Guann in Taiwan. CFS' preliminary investigation showed that the company was a local trading company which purchased lard products from another local oil and fat manufacturer and supplied them to Taiwan. Investigation is still ongoing.

Members of the public who would like to secure a copy of the list of affected products can pay attention to the relevant information issued by the Hong Kong and Taiwanese authorities.

The CFS will continue to announce the latest developments in a timely manner through press releases and by uploading the information onto its website to facilitate the public in keeping track of the development of the incident. The overall investigation conducted by the CFS is still ongoing.

Ends/Tuesday, September 9, 2014