Maxim’s Cakes apologized on Sunday for using lard from a Taiwanese firm that is at the center of a recycled oil scandal, Ming Pao Daily reported Monday.
The company promised to stop using the so-called gutter oil following revelations last week about the Taiwanese supplier.
The bakery unit of Maxim’s Group said it had bought lard products made by Chang Guann, an edible oil manufacturer based in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, for three years through a local importer.
The oil had been used to make 9,000 pineapple buns a day, which were sold in Maxim’s outlets, 7-11 convenience stores, Arome Bakery shops and several Starbucks coffee shops. Maxim’s said it had imported a total of 34 metric tons of such lard since August 2011.
But it insisted that the lard was used only in buns, and not in moon cakes or other products.
Taiwanese authorities said last week that Chang Guann was found to have used adulterated oil to make lard which is used in many Chinese food products. It is believed that one brand of its lard products has been sold to numerous night markets, restaurants, bakeries, feed makers and food plants all over the island.
Hong Kong’s Center for Food Safety said an importer was found to have supplied the recycled oil product from Taiwan to Maxim’s Cakes. About 163 barrels, out of 390 barrels that have been imported since April, have been sealed, it said.
Dr. Ho Yuk-yin, a consultant at the center, said at a press conference on Sunday that the center had taken sample products from Maxim’s Cakes for tests and that results are expected in two or three days.
Meanwhile, the Taiwanese parent of Upway International, which owns 8 Way Dumplings (Bafang Yunji) restaurants in Hong Kong, also admitted that it had used the recycled oil to make curry dumplings on the island. Upway has not confirmed whether it had used the same oil in Hong Kong.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare said on Sunday that 1,207 companies have been found to have made 139 products out of the recycled oil. Some of the products were popular souvenirs among Hong Kong visitors, Apple Daily noted.
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