The Macau government’s top health official revealed Monday that bread made with “gutter oil” imported from Taiwan was delivered to the city’s public hospital and tourism college every day.
The Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau (IACM) and the Health Bureau (SSM) announced at a joint press conference that Hang Fong Food Factory Ltd, one of the 21 local businesses affected by the Taiwan’s tainted oil scandal, had supplied bread to the Conde de S. Januario Hospital Centre.
In addition, Hang Fong also supplied bread to the Institute of Tourism Studies (IFT) and the Marine and Water Affairs Bureau (DSAMA).
SSM Director Lei Chin Ion said during the press conference held at the IACM headquarters that the bread supplied by Hang Fong was made with the rendered lard oil produced by Taiwan’s infamous Chang Guann Co. Ltd.
He added that Hang Fong had assured the Health Bureau that it had stopped using the recycled oil – commonly known as “gutter oil” – in its bread on Friday and was using another brand now.
Lei said that the bureau nevertheless decided to stop using the food supplied by Hang Fong to protect the health of patients and staff, adding the bureau was now looking for another supplier.
“The company told us that they had been using the oil to produce loaves of bread for the last two months, while they have used it to make pineapple buns for a year,” said Lei. “The sliced loaves are given to patients for their breakfast… while the pineapple buns are mostly for the hospital staff, so we got more sliced loaves than buns.”
Lei added that the bureau had been receiving about 30 kilogrammes of bread per day for the last two months and about one kilogramme of the pineapple buns per day for the last year.
Lei did not reveal the exact number of patients who are affected. He added that patients at the public hospital they can opt for Chinese-style or Western-style breakfast, the latter of which includes bread.
Macau’s health chief stressed that the bureau has yet to hear of any residents falling ill after consuming products made with the imported “gutter oil”.
He also said that the chance of acute poisoning after consuming food products made with “gutter oil” is very small.(macaunews/macaupost)