A Ho Chi Minh City company denied reports that it had imported canned meat containing tainted Taiwanese cooking oil after a government inspection team searched its warehouse.
Municipal inspectors visited the Cuu Huong Commerce and Service Company on Tuesday morning but failed to find any trace of the tainted canned pickled cucumber with pork or canned minced meat with chili that the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Hanoi claimed the company imported.
The Taiwanese diplomatic office informed the Food Safety Department at the Health Ministry that two shipments of the canned food had been manufactured by the Wei Chuan Food Corporation using contaminated Taiwanese oil.
Taiwanese media reported this month that the Chang Guann company was caught producing cooking oil with recycled waste oil and animal feed oil.
More than a thousand businesses have been affected so far .
Ho Chi Minh City health officials arrived at Cuu Huong's headquarters on Monday night but weren't allowed to enter until the next morning.
Then they said they failed to find any blacklisted items during a two hour search.
Doctor Nguyen Thi Huynh Mai, deputy head of the city’s food safety office, said the company’s representatives also produced documents to prove that they have never imported or traded the canned meat.
“We will continue to cooperate with customs officials and market managers to recall the products if we notice them in Ho Chi Minh City,” Mai said.
Cuu Huong was asked to halt distribution and recall the canned meat by September 20.
Mai said the health ministry is working with the Taiwanese office to clarify their alert and with Taiwan's Food and Drug Administration to check if any other tainted products have entered Vietnam.
On September 12, The Japan Times cited Chiang Yu-mei, deputy director general of Taiwan’s Food and Drug Administration, as saying that at least 14 food products containing the tainted oil had been exported to 12 countries and territories, including Vietnam.
Hong Kong's government published a list of the oil importers on Monday, including the Singapore-based bakery brand BreadTalk and Maxim’s Food and Beverage, which brought Starbucks to Vietnam.
Representatives from Starbucks and BreadTalk in Vietnam both denied using the contaminated Taiwanese oil.