Shandong octopus balls found melamine-free


TAICHUNG, Taiwan — Taichung County’s Public Health Bureau said yesterday that samples from a recent shipment of octopus balls from Shandong province in China were found to be free of melamine.

The Department of Health (DOH) in recent days ordered the importer to halt sales of the octopus balls — a popular round dumpling — as a precautionary measure after trace amounts of melamine were discovered in similar products tested in Japan.

The DOH asked Kaohsiung County to check the octopus balls, which were imported by a company registered in the county, but county officials found they had already been sold to a distributor in Taichung County.

Nonetheless, Kaohsiung County ordered the removal of octopus balls from local supermarket shelves for melamine testing.

Chu Nien-feng, director of Taichung County’s health bureau, said that samples of the shipment in question were sent to the Bureau of Food and Drug Analysis for testing and were found not to contain the toxic industrial chemical used in plastics and fertilizers.