Products made from the tainted oil produced by a company in Taiwan have been sold to 12 countries and territories, including Vietnam, Taiwanese health authorities said last week.
Fourteen food items made from the dirty recycled waste oil, known as ‘gutter oil’ in China and Taiwan, have been exported to the United States, France, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, Vietnam, Singapore, Hong Kong and mainland China, The Japan Times quoted Taiwan’s Food and Drug Administration Deputy Director-General, Chiang Yu-mei, as saying on Friday.
The Food and Drug Administration is under the Taiwanese Ministry of Health and Welfare.
‘Gutter oil’ describes illicit cooking oil which has been recycled from waste oil collected from sources such as restaurant fryers, sewer drains, grease traps, and slaughterhouse waste.
Chang Guann Co, a Taiwanese lard supplier, was found to have purchased oil from an illegal factory in southern Taiwan, and imported more from Hong Kong and Japan, to make 782 tons of ‘gutter oil,’ which was then distributed to the local market.
Health experts said the tainted oil may contain cancer-causing substances.
According to Taiwanese newspaper Want China Times, more than 1,200 local manufacturers used the tainted oil processed by Chang Guann in their products, which have since entered the said countries and territories.
The ‘gutter oil’ producer has been fined US$1.6 million by Taiwanese authorities.
Taiwanese authorities have also contacted their counterparts in the nations and territories which have received shipments of the products to warn them about the tainted oil.