Taipei, Feb. 3 (CNA) Taiwan Sugar Corp. (Taisugar) announced on Saturday that it is recalling all of its Boston butt pork products after one such item was found to contain cimbuterol, a leanness-enhancing additive banned in Taiwan.
Taisugar said it was also conducting investigations of its pig farms, feed mills, and packing houses and has sent hair of the pigs at its pig farms to the National Animal Industry Foundation for testing.
According to the Taichung Health Bureau on Friday, the frozen “Pork Boston Butt, Sliced” supplied by Taisugar was found to contain 0.002 parts per million of cimbuterol after tests were conducted at a General Welfare Service store in Taichung on Jan. 15.
The bureau has ordered the product to be removed from store shelves in Taichung.
According to the bureau, the sampled meat had an expiration date of June 10, 2024, and the pork was processed by the Pingtung-based Sings Kout Trading Co. with its production overseen by Taisugar.
A total of 2,730 packs of the pork product, weighing 819 kilograms, from the same batch were being sold mainly in southern Taiwan, at places including Taisugar’s online market and supermarket chain PX Mart, Lin Chin-fu (林金富), deputy director- general of Taiwan’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA), said Saturday.
This was the first time in 10 years that domestic pork products have been found to contain a leanness-enhancing additive, according to Lin.
He added that the Ministry of Agriculture was now investigating the source of cimbuterol and that Taisugar has applied for a reinspection.
On Friday evening, Taisugar told CNA that it prohibits the use of leanness-enhancing additives, suspecting that the sampled meat got tainted during the animal’s slaughtering, a procedure that is currently being outsourced to other companies.
Since these companies also slaughter animals for other clients, Taisugar said its sliced pork likely got cross-contaminated by other slaughtered meat.
In response, Sings Kout said it was “impossible” that the meat got cross-contaminated while being processed by the company.
(By Liu Chien-ling, Shen Pei-yao and Bernadette Hsiao)