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May 23, 2017

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50% of edible daylily flowers tainted by SO2: health officials

The China Post news staff--Health officials suggested consumers carefully wash daylily flowers when having hot pot to avoid any negative effects of the flowers being contaminated by excess sulfur dioxide (SO2).

Despite their beauty, daylilies are not commonly used as cut flowers in Taiwan, But they are some of the favorite vegetables eaten in hot pot, a popular dish in the cold season.

Health officials in Taipei inspected 59 samples purchased in local markets and 27 of them, or about half, were found to have excess traces of SO2.

SO2 is a chemical often used as a bleaching agent that can cause induce asthma, coughing, and short breathing as well as health hazards to people with cardiovascular diseases or bronchitis.

Before consumption, consumers should soak the daylily flowers, called "gold needles" by local people, in warm water for 20 minutes or in tap water for 60 minutes and then rinse the products.

A third step is to keep the pots open without covers so that the chemical can be evaporated from the soup, they added.

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