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Enhanced measures to swiftly improve Taiwan's food safety


Premier Chen Chien-jen on Thursday received a briefing from the Executive Yuan's Office of Food Safety concerning the government's response and implementation of enhanced safety measures after the recent detection of banned Sudan dye in imported food items. The premier said this incident reflects major systemic issues in food safety, and illustrates that Taiwan's entire current system of food safety management—including border inspections, auditing of market products, self-regulation by companies, and existing systems for tracking and tracing food products—must be closely reexamined and swiftly improved.

Noting the large impact this incident has had across all sectors of society, Premier Chen emphasized that the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) and local governments acted quickly to trace the circulation of affected food products within the domestic supply chain, and have halted sales of contaminated chili powder and related products. To rebuild the public's trust in food safety, the government is conducting batch-by-batch border inspections of 100% of imported dried chili peppers and chili powder. The premier instructed the MOHW to conclude its investigation and all necessary checks within one month, and to formulate a management plan to immediately and effectively stop illegal imports at the nation's borders. Regarding market controls, in addition to more rigorous government inspections, the premier also asked the food industry to strengthen self-inspection measures.

Additionally, the premier directed the relevant ministries and agencies to research and discuss preparations for the establishment of a food safety inspection fund to improve the efficiency of food safety management through tripartite collaboration between government administration, industry self-regulation and civic participation, thereby ensuring continued strict control of food safety on behalf of the public.

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