TAIPEI - Taiwan prosecutors have launched an investigation into a unit of Ting Hsin International Group, one of China's biggest instant noodles makers, over the sale of what prosecutors allege was tainted cooking oil.
The probe, first reported by local media on Thursday, threatens to become Taiwan's second food safety scandal in quick succession. In September another company, Chang Guann Co, said it had sold adulterated cooking oil to restaurants, schools and food processors.
Prosecutor Tsai Li-yi told Reuters by telephone that Ting Hsin unit Cheng-I Food Co is being investigated over allegedly mixing animal feed oil with cooking oil and then selling it for human consumption.
Tsai said the company has started removing affected products from shelves in markets across Taiwan. "The public has great concern about this," she said.
Officials of Ting Hsin and Cheng I did not respond to repeated calls seeking comment. Ting Hsin is parent company of Hong Kong-listed Tingyi Cayman Islands Holding Corp.
Last month, Chang Guann confirmed it sold 645 tons of adulterated cooking oil to more than 1,200 restaurants, schools and food processors.
Chang Guann said it had bought what's known as "gutter oil" - oil recycled from restaurant waste and animal byproducts - from an illegal factory and mixed it with lard to make its Chuan Tung cooking oil. Chang Guann has shut down factories and laid off staff since then.