More food woes - expired items

First, there were reports on the news that people were selling expired items in wholesale warrehouses, at half the price -what a bargain!.. not. :raspberry: Then, that distributors were selling the stuff to stores, whole expired inventories. Now, again, we have food items being made with substandard ingredients. Some snipets:

[quote]A top importer of bakery products has sold chocolate nine years past its expiration date to five-star hotels and hundreds of bakeries, reports said Tuesday.
The Chinese-language Apple Daily said that Ele Field Co., Ltd. ordered its employees to change the expiration labels on its products to next year. The products included chocolate that should have left the market nine years ago, the paper alleged. Ele Field’s customers included five-star hotels and 600 bakeries across the country, according to the report.

An employee dissatisfied by the practice reportedly alerted Apple Daily and agreed to work undercover for the paper for a month.

Doctors warned that consuming chocolate years past its sell-by date could lead to serious liver problems.

Ele Field is one of Taiwan’s three major importers of baking ingredients. Its top manager, Shen Feng-ying, also owns a separate company known as Bon Crop Trading Co., Ltd. importing dairy and chocolate products from France, Belgium and the Netherlands, the Apple Daily said.

Selling products after their expiration date is punishable by fines ranging from NT$30,000 (US$991) to NT$150,000 (US$4,958), while changing the labels could lead to additional fines from NT$40,000 (US$1,322) to NT$200,000 (US$6,611), the Department of Health said.

Last August, an inspection by the New Taipei City Health Department at a company storage center turned up 35 tons of old chocolate, strawberry and apple jam. However, because there was no evidence that the company was trying to sell the products, the only thing the authorities could do was to have them destroyed without a fine, the Apple Daily reported
[/quote] … id=1785947

[quote]) Some ingredients sold by a food importer that were long past their expiration date may have found their way into retail bakeries and even five-star hotels, a health official in New Taipei said Tuesday. Lin Chin-fu, deputy director of the city’s Public Health Department, was responding to reports in the Apple Daily that food importer and distributor Bon Crop Trading Company had asked its employees to alter the expiration date of certain baking ingredients, including chocolate nine years past its expiration date. At least eight items, including black chocolate, fruit pulp and cake powder, were found to have their expiration dates altered. The company has sold food items to more than 600 commercial customers, including five-star hotels, the report also said. Lin said health officials inspected the company’s warehouses located in Taishan District, New Taipei, in August and September. “We found 238 baking ingredients that had passed their legal expiration dates and sealed them for disposal. A total of 40 metric tons of the expired products were destroyed on Oct. 15 ,” Lin said.

Lin said that according to the Act Governing Food Sanitation, the importer could be fined up to NT$150,000 for selling expired food items and up to NT$200,000 for altering the products’ labels. But he acknowledged that the fines might simply be a slap on the wrist to the importer. "The bureau is now talking with prosecutors about ways to go after the rogue company on fraud charges, " Lin said.
[/quote] … TAIWAN_eng

ah just give them a 100k fine and that’s it. They are good people! They just want to make money :slight_smile:

Aren’t those 2 statements contradictory? :ponder: :ohreally:

Skip to the last paragraph if you don’t want to read complaints :slight_smile:

Of the last three major issues – melamine, 塑化劑 (the stuff in the drinks) and now expired food – two were uncovered by news organizations. All three of these issues were/are consistent problems, as well. This is a clear indication that the government organization in charge of inspecting edibles is not doing effective work. This is worrisome.

Even more worrisome is that most of the food stuffs we consume outside of home are unregulated. I’m referring to all the street-side restaurants, bakeries, night-market snacks. I have no confidence in the Taiwanese peoples’ moral standards – in fact, sadly, Taiwanese culture is the most family/friend-centered culture I’ve come across; that is, if you’re not family or good friends, you don’t matter at all. If you doubt this, just look at the condition of traffic here. It’s like we’re living in China – a country wherein murder was encouraged and carried out at a massive scale not that long ago…

I’m even less confident in the government to follow up on complaints. My wife had a cram school. It was robbed. The police wouldn’t file a report. My wife was scammed by a 詐騙集團 (a group of scam artists). Again, the police refused to file a report. Just a few weeks ago the local DVD/comic book rental store was robbed. We are friends with the owner (been going there for years). Again, the police refused to file a report. The last thing the police/governmental agencies want to do is regulate food safety at restaurants…

So, it really is the wild west in terms of food safety out there. We must take care of our own health. We can’t assume that the government will protect use. The best thing we can do is buy fresh, local, clean vegetables and cook at home. I’d really like to located a farm and buy directly from the farmer. Anyone have any experiences with that?

they need to give them a fine for face and to show that the government cares! As soon as they are convicted they start again or other people do it. How can an “all you can eat” shabu shabu place offer the food for just 100NT per person? My friend who tried it had serious food poisoning for two days. Did he report it? No! In Europe they would investigate that place and it’s a law that you have to report it. Here nobody cares.

Some good points there. But a fine is way to lenient. People should be going to jail. We are talking about fraud and poisoning.

There’s some info on getting organic produce and buying from farmers here:

yes of course, it was sarcastic :wink: but you know how it works in Taiwan…

as long as they don’t fake their “organic label” like they do in Europe…you can’t be sure on anything anymore…

Understand :slight_smile:

@Dragonbones – thanks

I don’t trust organic labels, either. That’s why I want to go to the farm.

They need to start doing it the Chinese way…shoot the buggers.

After the government fails to cover it up.

After the government fails to cover it up.[/quote]

yeah thats what I meant :slight_smile:

After the government fails to cover it up.[/quote]

yeah thats what I meant :slight_smile:[/quote]

Nevermind – I get what you’re saying.

After the government fails to cover it up.[/quote]

yeah thats what I meant :slight_smile:[/quote]

Nevermind – I get what you’re saying.[/quote]

No, you are absolutely right, thats exactly how they did it in China. They needed a scapegoat when the shit hit the fan.

A lot of products (not fresh) that have an expiry date or mostly still OK to eat … most dry food actually can be kept for a long time over expiry date. Many people also mix up ‘best before’, and ‘expiry’ date. There is also the keeping date after manufacturing … let’s say one year … does it mean that 1 year + 1 day the food is bad?

Most products change only in taste and/or appearance, they don’t go bad in the way that they become life threatening. Did you know that supermarkets in Europe need to remove their products off shelves long before expiry date … if they fail to do so, when caught they get fines.

In Europe there is a debate going on about this matter … it’s not clear to customers … labeling should be changed.

Chocolate if kept at the right temp and dry can be kept a long time over expiry … only taste will be affected … beer (over 6% alc.) can be kept for years but it still needs an ‘expiry date’ … according to law.

Did you know that the famous Taiwanese Pineapple cakes have a shelf life of at least 9 months … loads of sugar and (hydrogenated) fats keep it that long, probably a few preservatives thrown in for good measure.
BTW, most chain stores, supermarkets in Taiwan only want products for sale (not fresh) with a min. shelf life, from manufacturing date, of 9 months.

Canned food, dry food (dehydrated) can be kept almost unlimited.
Raw (green) coffee can be kept for years, roasted it needs to be packed in vacuum or under atmosphere or it will lose flavor and the oils go rancid. But will it kill you? No.

Inuits eat ‘fermented’, almost ‘rotten’ meat and fish … do they die? Good beef needs to be ‘aged’ … meaning it has to start breaking down muscle fiber. Don’t let me start about cheese …

Expiry date and shelf life are just an indication, only for fresh food it could be used accordingly … but then, yogurt (the real thing, not the commercial crap) … what’s its shelf life … it’s fermented and soured … and how about sourdough starter?

well in that case the chocolate is 9 years old!!

IGA in Australia sells “use before” expired products days after they expired such as milk etc. and that stuff sometimes really is expired. The “best before” products I don’t mind to buy if they are at least 50 percent off :wink:.

Most German supermarket give their expired or about to expire fresh food to charity organisations.

I watched recently a docu about the HMS Manchester. They had a problem with their refrigeration system and had too cook as much as possible and still had to destroy food worth more than 10000 pounds instead of giving it to poor people in the Caribbean, that’s where they do their “anti drugs” mission

I bet you, if stored right and it’s the semi-finished (raw) ingredient in chocolate bars or cakes, mousse it wont matter … it gets remelted and re-mixed, re-processed.
A nine year old chocolate bar on the other hand would be still edible but not tasty … so, selling is a no go …

but someone said it might be bad for your liver… or did I misunderstand that?