by Matthew Strong
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Health inspectors in Kaohsiung concluded that bleach had been added to noodle products by at least two food companies, reports said Friday.
During tests of various products made by Ta Liang Agricultural Produce Co. of Daliao, Kaohsiung City, sulfure dioxide levels of 0.048 gram per kilo turned up, while the legal maximum stands at 0.01 g per kg, reports said.
The Kaohsiung health department alerted local prosecutors, who visited two suppliers of Ta Liang, named by the media as Tsai Poh and Yi Tsai, on Thursday. The raids turned up large quantities of noodles treated with bleach, and the top managers of both companies admitted the scams, reports said. They were freed on bail of NT$200,000 (US$6,000) and NT$100,000 (US$3,000) respectively.
Ta Liang had sold different types of noodles containing excessive levels of preservatives and bleach to more than 300 businesses across Kaohsiung, Tainan and Pingtung, prosecutors said. The customers included noodle wholesalers, shops, fastfood stores and noodle stalls, but detainees at local prisons had also had the products served to them, according to media reports.
The health authorities were doing their best to remove all potentially tainted noodle products from shelves and to stop further sales to consumers going ahead, while prosecutors were continuing to look into the companies involved in the bleach scandal, reports said.