FDA investigating food poisoning case at Taipei restaurant

28 March, 2024

Courtesy of ICRT


Two people have now died and four others remain hospitalized in critical condition in a suspected food poisoning outbreak connected to a branch of a Malaysian restaurant chain in Taipei.


According to the Taipei Department of Health, a total of 11 people who ate at the restaurant chain's branch at the Far Eastern Department Store in the Xinyi District between 19 and 23 March have fallen ill. Health officials say they all ate stir-fried rice noodle dishes and developed initial symptoms within 12-hours. The Shilin District Prosecutors' Office has opened an investigation into the case and says the Ministry of Justice's Institute of Forensic Medicine will be conducting autopsies of the two deceased customers later today to determine exact cause of death.


Prosecutors are reportedly currently looking at a New Taipei company that may have recently made food deliveries to the restaurant and sample testing is ongoing.


The Food and Drug Administration has also opened an investigation and says it is testing samples of produce collected from the restaurant's kitchen, including cabbage, bean sprouts, rice noodles, brown beech mushrooms, pandan leaves and soy sauce. The FDA says it will likely take at least two weeks to complete the tests.


In other food safety news, the FDA says it has recalled 121 food products containing red yeast rice following reports from Japan of consumers experiencing kidney problems. According to administration director-general Wu Shou-mei, the two Taiwanese importers of red yeast rice products made by Kobayashi Pharmaceuticals have issued recalls.

SHS Biotech has recalled 405-kilograms of its ingredients, while Healthtake Corporation has recalled over 3,000 kilograms of its ingredients. Both companies manufacture dietary supplements.


The FDA head says 31 relevant companies and suppliers have voluntarily reported their products containing red yeast rice ingredients and actively removed them from shelves.


The recall order comes after the Osaka-based drugmaker announced that its nutritional supplements containing red yeast rice may have caused health issues.


Two people have died in Japan after using the supplements, while a total of 106 people have been hospitalized.

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