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Inspections of imported foods to Taiwan: an overview

Keng-Wen Lien, Shin-Yu Chen, Min-Hsiung Pan, Min-Pei Ling
Journal für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit 2019 v.14 no.2 pp. 183-191
Food and Drug Administration, Internet, containers, food safety, foods, fruits, hygiene, ingredients, markets, pesticide residues, risk factors, sales, vegetables, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, United States
Imported food safety and related matters is a topic which causes extreme concern for the consumers of Taiwan. This article aims to analyze the results of border inspection of imported foods from 2011 to 2017, to gain understanding of risk factors, product categories, and countries of origin of imported foods in the past 7 years. The greatest number of batches of noncompliant products (including hygiene quality, labeling and ingredients etc.) originated from Japan, totaling 15,608 batches or 35.41% of all noncompliant batches (44,073 batches). In second and third positions, respectively, were the US with 3613 batches (8.20%) and Thailand with 2675 batches (6.07%). The results reveal a total of 4665 batches of products with hygiene quality noncompliance, amounting to 1.48% of the total sampled batches (314,509 batches) that were inspected (selected batches including sample inspection and on-site inspections). Among the hygiene quality noncompliant products (4665 batches), pesticide residues ranked highest with a total of 2712 batches. In terms of the main importing country, Japan, the hygiene quality noncompliant of imported food products were vegetables (244 batches), fruits (240 batches), and food containers (227 batches). Vegetables and fruits having higher noncompliant percentages, the listing of these food products as high-risk imported food products should be made mandatory. Such hygiene quality noncompliant products were either returned or destroyed according to law to prevent their sales in Taiwanese markets, with related data also publicly announced on the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration website.