Taipei, The public have been warned against consuming sashimi sold at certain restaurants in Taiwan’s five major tourism fishing ports, as a majority of them have failed to pass sanitary checks, a government agency reported on Tuesday.
Out of 18 premises at Bisha Port in Keelung City, Zhuwei Port in Taoyuan City, Wuqi Port in Taichung City, Chijin Port in Kaohsiung City and Wushih Port in Yilan County selling the Japanese-style thinly sliced raw fish, 14 failed a joint inspection by the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) under the Executive Yuan and the five local governments, DCP officials told a news conference.
The joint inspection launched in October covered 25 restaurants, they said.
The total plate count of sashimi offered by the 14 restaurants was found to be higher than the standard set by the central government, with two at Chijin Port and one at Wushih Port found to head the list, said DCP official Wang Chih-hung (王志宏).
In terms of the degree of the coliform bacteria present in their dishes, one at Zhuwei Port and two at Wuqi Port were found to be below standard in safety terms, while three at Wushih, Bisha and Wuqi ports failed to pass a check in volatile basic nitrogen, which indicates the freshness of the seafood on offer, Wang said.
A total of 23 out of the 25 restaurants failed to pass hygiene checks because of cockroaches, flies, mosquitoes or other disease vectors spotted at their premises, foodstuff put on the floor, as well as expired food or failure to have their workers conduct health checks every year, Wang said.
At the same time, 14 of the 25 failed in checks regarding COVID-19 preventive measures.
The checks were part of sanitation safety checks in the joint inspection, which also included checks on fire safety, disinfection and measurement instruments.
Nine restaurants were found to have fallen short of official fire safety standards, according to DCP official Wang Te-ming (王德明).
Wang Te-ming noted that one seafood restaurant at Wushi Port had grouped several gas canisters weighing 450 kilograms together without breakers, nor did it have them adequately secured. He warned that this could lead to a fire should an earthquake occur and tear out the pipes.
In addition, two others failed their fire escape equipment test, while a third had a substandard fire extinguisher.
In the area of disinfection, 22 were found to have failed in keeping records, while all 25 passed the examination of their measurement instruments.
According to Wang Te-ming, fines totaling NT$560,000 (US$19,901) resulting from the irregularities and failures discovered by the checks have been levied.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel