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Zongzi failing food tests banned from sale: gov't

TAIPEI--Some ingredients used to make zongzi — a glutinous rice dumpling wrapped in bamboo leaves — were found to contain high levels of harmful additives and have been banned from sale in Taipei, the city government said yesterday.

Six of the 100 randomly selected items tested below standard, according to a report released by the city's Department of Health.

The ingredients were five samples of radish and one pickled mustard tuber, which all contained excessive levels of parabens, a type of preservative, the report said.

The health department tested 25 zongzi, 10 bamboo leaf wrappings, 45 stuffing ingredients, 15 samples of sticky rice and purple rice and five types of seasonings.

The tests were carried out on products sold in traditional markets, zongzi stores and by manufacturers of ingredients for zongzi, which are traditionally eaten around the time of the Dragon Boat Festival.

With the approach of the festival on June 23, the products were checked for additives, preservatives, bleaching agents, coloring agents, pesticide residues and aflatoxin.

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