Two out of five Japanese donburi restaurants tested by the Taipei Department of Health — which sell bowls of rice with meat, seafood or other toppings — failed health inspections due to high levels of coliform bacteria and other contaminants found in served food, the department said yesterday.
An investigative report published on Oct. 25 by Chinese-language Next Magazine said that sashimi or raw mixed seafood donburi sold at five chain restaurants was tested to contain high levels of coliform bacteria, such as E coli, and Staphylococcus aureus, which can cause food poisoning and are indicators of poor sanitation.
In response to the report, the department sent inspectors to the five stores to collect samples for examination and released the results yesterday.
Products from two stores contained more coliform bacteria than the most probable number per gram (MPN/g) allowed by regulations.
The “value seafood bowl (超值海鮮丼)” sold at Yasaka Don’s (八?丼屋) ATT4FUN shopping center outlet in Xinyi District (信義) and the “luxury seafood bowl (豪華海景丼)” sold at Sushi Express’ Kangning Street branch both failed the inspections.
Food and Drug Division head Wang Ming-li (王明理) said the two stores would be fined between NT$30,000 and NT$3 million (US$998 to US$99,895) if they do not improve their hygiene and fail reinspection.
All the samples were collected according to standard procedures, including measuring temperature changes and making sure the product does not get contaminated before testing, she said, adding that the department did not detect Staphylococcus aureus in any of the products.
Meanwhile, the department also reported that seven out of 15 false-eyelash glues it tested failed inspections.
Three products displayed exaggerated claims, while three other products were mislabeled and one was found to contain high levels of formaldehyde residue, violating the regulations.
Wang said that a sample of eyelash glue product EX53 taken from cosmetic chain 86 Shop’s Zhongxiao W Road branch was found to contain 83.7 parts per million (ppm) formaldehyde residue, exceeding the regulatory limit of 75ppm.
The department has reported the case to the Taoyuan District Prosecutors’ Office for further investigation, it said, adding that the responsible company is registered in Taoyuan.
Long-term exposure to formaldehyde vapor can cause immediate irritation of the mucous membranes, including in the eyes, nose and upper respiratory tract, and trigger allergic reactions or skin lesions, Wang said.
The health department urged consumers to watch out for exaggerated claims and check product labels for detailed information in Chinese characters when purchasing cosmetics and beauty products.
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