Taiwan to add food items to compulsory self-inspection program

Taiwan will expand a program of compulsory self-inspection to include more food categories, including noodles and edible vinegar, in its bid to ensure food safety, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Monday.

The FDA said registered manufacturers, processors and formulators of agricultural and plant products, noodles, edible vinegar, egg products and powdered products who have paid-in capital of over NT$30 million (US$954,810) should formulate a food safety monitoring plan and implement compulsory self-inspection from Oct. 31.

Importers of agricultural and plant products, processed meat, processed dairy products, aquatic goods, and baby and children food should also do the same, the FDA said.

Hsu Chao-kai (???), a deputy chief in the FDA's Food Safety Divition, said the addition of the new food categories to the program will extend it to another 4,700 companies, bringing the total number to 19,000 companies, including tea and edible oil producers.

The program will now cover 23 categories of food, he said.

"All food businesses under regulation should formulate a food safety monitoring plan to ensure food safety," he said. "They are required to carry out inspection at least once every quarter or for every batch of products to ensure the safety of raw materials, and semi-finished and finished products."

Businesses that fail to comply with the regulation and to make improvements before a set deadline will be subject to fines of between NT$30,000 and NT$3 million, the FDA said.

Serious offenders will be ordered to suspend operations for a certain period of time or will have their company registration revoked for at least one year, the FDA said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel