Police and the Public Health Bureau in Tainan’s Jiali District seized 1614 kg of expired seafood, including lobster, crab, cod and shrimp, from 浚仁實業有限公司 and 浚美商行 on Thursday, Liberty Times reported.
The two owners and three employees were taken into custody. The suspects, 48-year-old Mr. Wu and 42-year-old Ms. Chen, had been operating the companies that import frozen seafood as well as seafood-related products wholesale for more than 10 years. The companies’ combined annual revenue was estimated at NT$80 million (US$2.7 million).
Authorities said that the companies were re-labeling packaged seafood with altered expiration dates. Inspections discovered that cooked lobster had expired 19 months ago.
Authorities were tipped off about the expired seafood by a newspaper report six months ago and opened an investigation into the operations.
The expired seafood had been sold to at least seven local restaurants. Authorities believe that all products that had been sold have already been consumed.
The owners are being charged with fraud under the “Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation.” The Public Health Bureau is conducting further interviews with employees to determine the extent of the illegal operations.