Industrial dyes found in ‘tangyuan’ in Taichung

NO WINTER TREAT:Taichung health bureau staff and prosecutors conducted an investigation yesterday because the dumplings are popular at this time of year

Taipei Times
Date: Dec 20, 2016
By: Su Meng-chuan and William Hetherington / Staff reporter, with staff writer

A Taichung food distributor has reportedly been selling glutinous rice balls (tangyuan,

A stack of trays, some containing traditional glutinous rice balls known as tangyuan, are pictured at a Taichung food producer’s facility yesterday. Photo: Su Meng-chuan, Taipei Times

湯圓) containing industrial dyes.

Taichung City Health Bureau staff along with the local prosecutors’ office investigated the local food distributor and uncovered two unmarked containers of dark-colored powder, the bureau said.

A worker at the premises surnamed Chang (張) allegedly confessed to using industrial dyes instead of food colorings in making the tangyuan, the bureau said.

Chang reportedly told investigators that the tangyuan containing the toxic dyes were mostly sold in the traditional markets in the city’s Fengyuan District (豐原).

Under the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation (食品安全衛生管理法), the distributor could face up to seven years imprisonment and a fine of up to NT$80 million (US$2.5 million), prosecutors said.

The bureau said it ordered inspections last month ahead of the winter solstice — which this year is tomorrow — when people typically eat tangyuan, adding that investigators made random visits to several vendors and ran food safety tests.

The results of tests became available earlier this month and Rhodamine B was discovered in the samples taken from one vendor who sells about 18kg of tangyuan per week, the bureau said.    [FULL  STORY]

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