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Plasticizer-tainted beverages off shelves in California

LOS ANGELES--Plasticizer-contaminated beverages from Taiwan have been taken off the shelves at California-based 99 Ranch Market, one of the largest Asian grocery chains in the United States, its spokesperson Jennifer Tsao said Monday.

“Two kinds of Taiwanese beverages have been taken off shelves, and we are still trying to know more about the whole situation,”she told CNA.

99 Ranch Market, run by Tawa Supermarket Inc., has 35 stores in the United States, 29 of which are scattered in California. It is considered a Taiwanese-American supermarket because it has a considerable amount of products imported from Taiwan.

Asked about the widely-spreading clouding agent scandal in Taiwan, Tsao said the company has been paying a great deal of attention to the incident. They have asked traders to show the documents that prove their products are plasticizer-free since the first day the serious food contamination was exposed in Taiwan, she added.

After an overall check on all Taiwanese products at 99 Ranch Market, they found two kinds of problematic beverages. The company then decided to pull them off the shelves even before they acquire the results of safety checks on those products, Tsao said.

The toxic food additive scandal broke out early last week in Taiwan after an investigator from the Cabinet-level Department of Health discovered some food and beverage products contained plasticizer that is supposedly only used to make plastics.

The discovery triggered a public panic nationwide in Taiwan, forcing the government to launch a comprehensive food check.

The scandal, however, seems to have little effect on the sales of imported Taiwanese food products in Los Angeles. Tsao said that only a few consumers at their Los Angeles store had asked about the matter in the past few days.

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