Vietnam recalls tainted jellies

TN News

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Vietnam has recalled 3,582 packages of taro jellies from shelves following fears they were contaminated with the industrial chemical DEHP used mainly in the plastics industry.

Authorities have also ordered distributors to recall other 3,688 taro jelly packages distributed to markets and supermarkets across the country by June 6. 

On Tuesday, inspectors from the Vietnam Food Administration (VFA) seized 100 kilograms of food additives from the warehouse of the New Choice Foods Ltd., at the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park II in Binh Duong Province.

The VFA's inspection followed notifications from Taiwan's Department of Health that the Taiwan-based Triko Foods Company had sold a shipment of chemical food additives suspected to contain DEHP to New Choice Foods.

Part of the shipment, which was imported by New Choice Foods early this year, was used to make jellies and had been sold in the domestic market.

The company said it used the food additives to make the taro jellies and did not sell the additives to any other companies.

According to the VFA, Taiwanese health authorities will continue to notify the VFA of confectionery products, drinks and food additives imported from Taiwan that may have been contaminated with DEHP.

The food scare in Taiwan has been escalating since it came to light early last week, dealing a heavy blow to Taiwan's food and beverage industries, Focus Taiwan news website reported.

It was found that the plasticizer DEHP was being used in a type of food additive known as clouding agent that makes products more visually appealing to consumers. The substance is believed to be carcinogenic.

In addition to Vietnam, other countries and territories such as Singapore, the United States, Hong Kong and Macau have reportedly received DEHP-contaminated shipments of food products from Taiwan.

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