Recalled in Taiwan, sold on mainland

Updated: 2013-06-03 02:27

By Zhou Wenting in Shanghai (China Daily)

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Desserts recalled by the Taiwan company Uni-President were still being produced and sold on the Chinese mainland on Sunday, two days after they were removed from shelves in Taiwan as a precaution.

Uni-President's Taiwan office recalled seven products on Friday after they were found to contain an ingredient bought from supplier Roci Industrial Co.

Roci had previously been caught selling one ingredient it produced after their expiration date, namely locust bean gum, and agar powder, an industrial additive.

The products recalled by Uni-President contained a different ingredient, carrageenan, which is an approved food-hardening agent.

"Some of the ingredients come from Taiwan, but I'm not sure if the seven products, which were recalled in Taiwan, are involved," said a man who gave his name as Wang at the Beijing branch of Uni-President China Holdings Ltd.

Wang said staff at the Beijing plant had not been informed of a recall. The plant sells its products in the capital, neighboring Tianjin and in the provinces of Shanxi and Hebei, according to the company's website.

When contacted, the other Uni-President branches on the mainland denied using ingredients from Roci.

Zhou Feng, who works in sales for Uni-President's Wuhan branch, said the products on the mainland are not related to the food scare in Taiwan as they do not import ingredients from the province.

A worker at the company's Kunshan plant, who gave only his surname, Lin, said it has its own suppliers of raw materials.

"It's impossible to import ingredients from Taiwan. All our materials are from the mainland," he said.

The seven products recalled were two pudding products and five ice-cream products. The pudding, which is the most popular of the seven, is sold on the mainland, according to the Uni-President China website.

In an outlet of FamilyMart, a chain convenience store in Shanghai's Huangpu district, clerk Zhao Weiyuan said there had been no notification that the product needed to be removed from shelves.

Zhang Yusong, a spokesman for the Shanghai industry watchdog, said if the company claimed they had suppliers on the mainland and the questionable products did not flow into the market, Shanghai is not involved in the food scare.

"We'll release a notice of any possible recall after an inspection on Monday," Zhang said.

In a Saturday notice on its website, Uni-President Taiwan said the products it recalled contain carrageenan produced by Roci, adding that preliminary tests on materials from Roci proved they met food standards.

"We suspended the sales to protect the rights and interests of the consumers and cooperate with a judicial investigation. We will resume sales after we conclusively ensure the safety of the ingredients," the notice added.