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. With respect to Globalway Corporation Limited (Globalway) which was suspected to have exported contaminated lard to Chang Guann Co., Ltd (Chang Guann) in Taiwan, a spokesman for the CFS today (September 10) said that the CFS is consulting the Department of Justice for advice in relation to initial evidence found at this stage. The case will be referred to relevant law enforcement departments for criminal investigations if criminal elements are involved.

The spokesman said, according to investigation results so far, Globalway purchased lard products from Upswing Company (Upswing), a local oil and fat manufacturer, for supply to Chang Guann. Evidence showed that invoice issued by Upswing to Globalway stated that the lard products concerned were for use in animal feed. However, for lard products sold by Globalway to Chang Guann, it was stated in the invoice issued by Globalway that the lard products were fit for human consumption and could be used for manufacturing margarine, shortening and frying oil. The CFS is seeking legal advice on the issue.

Concerning two kinds of pork floss products manufactured by Wei Chuan Foods Corporation and exported to Hong Kong from Taiwan as announced yesterday, the CFS, based on the information provided by the Taiwanese authorities, has approached the importer, Prizemart. The importer claimed, in response to press reports, to have stopped selling and initiated a recall of the affected products. The CFS has marked and sealed the affected products. In addition, the CFS has inspected the outlets of the company concerned and other retailers. The affected products were not detected so far.

The spokesman said, "Concerning the 46 samples of high-risk and possibly contaminated food and lard samples taken by the CFS, all the tests have been completed and all samples passed the tests. The levels of Benzo[a]pyrene detected were below the action level set by the CFS of 10 microgram per kilogram in edible oil, and were also below relevant standards in the European Union and Taiwan, i.e. two microgram per kilogram.

The spokesman stressed that, according to the information provided by the Taiwanese authorities, no substandard lard has been detected to have entered the Hong Kong market so far. 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 liaise with Taiwanese authorities closely, and 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/Wednesday, September 10, 2014