Stor­n­away to cease op­er­a­tions over pes­ti­cide in tea

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY KATHER­INE WEI

Tainan City’s Depart­ment of Health yes­ter­day or­dered bev­er­age chain Stor­n­away ( ) to sus­pend op­er­a­tions at its 96 branches na­tion­wide af­ter its black tea was found to con­tain pes­ti­cide residue for the sec­ond time in two weeks,

The Tainan Dis­trict Pros­e­cu­tors Of­fice, which is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the chain af­ter the dis­cov­ery of pes­ti­cide residue in its rose tea last week, has opened a sep­a­rate in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the lat­est case.

The Tainan Dis­trict Pros­e­cu­tors Of­fice will be col­lab­o­rat­ing with the Taipei Dis­trict Pros­e­cu­tors Of­fice, and it has al­ready sum­moned the owner of the branch. The owner al­legedly claimed in­no­cence when sum­moned.

A sep­a­rate probe was launched last week when the Tainan Dis­trict Pros­e­cu­tors Of­fice dis­cov­ered 13 kinds of pes­ti­cide in im­ported in­gre­di­ents for rose tea; a pros­e­cu­tor said yes­ter­day that if the Tainan pros­e­cu­tors be­lieved Storn­way’s Tainan head­quar­ters or Tainan­based chains were guilty, it would be han­dling the case it­self, but if not, the en­tire case may be trans­ferred to the Taipei Dis­trict Pros­e­cu­tors Of­fice.

Own­ers Un­reach­able Af­ter Fax

Mes­sage

Ac­cord­ing to the Taipei City Depart­ment of Health, Stor­n­away re­ported to the Tainan City Depart­ment of Health yes­ter­day that the three kinds of tea leaves it pur­chased from Taipei-based Chou Chieh En- ter­prise ( ) were found to con­tain pes­ti­cide residue.

The re­port was made via fax mes­sage, and the Taipei City Depart­ment of Health said that Stor­n­away per­son­nel could not be con­tacted af­ter the mes­sage was re­ceived.

In the mes­sage, Stor­n­away claimed that the batch of tea leaves it sub­mit­ted vol­un­tar­ily for tests con­tained pes­ti­cide residue. The 330 kilo­grams of Earl Grey tea leaves, 150 kilo­grams of Cey­lon tea leaves and 240 kilo­grams of Dar­jeel­ing were all pur­chased from Chou Chieh En­ter­prise last month, the com­pany said, also adding that it has pulled all the tainted prod­ucts from their stores.

The Tainan Depart­ment of Health then no­ti­fied its Taipei coun­ter­part of the mes­sage.

Taipei City Depart­ment of Health of­fi­cial Wang Ming-li ( ) said that af­ter re­ceiv­ing the mes­sage from the Tainan Depart­ment of Health, his depart­ment con­firmed us­ing Food Tracer Taipei that Stor­n­away’s black tea leaves were in­deed pur­chased from Chou Chieh, and the reg­is­tered place of ori­gin was Sri Lanka.

The pros­e­cu­tion was then alerted to the batch of tainted black tea leaves, and headed to the com­pany’s Taipei of­fice on Liaon­ing Street and con­fis­cated 20 boxes of the three types of tea leaves, amount­ing to 600 kilo­grams in to­tal.

Wang said that the Stor­n­away staff who con­tacted the health depart­ment could not be reached af­ter the mes­sage, and that all 26 chain stores in Taipei were closed yes­ter­day. The com­pany’s of­fice on Chungqing South Road could not be reached for a re­ply.

Tainan au­thor­i­ties failed at first to reach the com­pany’s Tainan of­fice yes­ter­day, and dis­cov­ered that all 11 shops in Tainan were closed. The au­thor­i­ties con­fis­cated the rest of the tainted tea leaves from the Tainan ware­house in the af­ter­noon, af­ter the com­pany staff were con­tacted.

CNA

A shut­tered Stor­n­away bev­er­age shop is seen in Taipei City, yes­ter­day. The sign on the alu­minum se­cu­rity shut­ter reads, “Closed for a day for staff train­ing.” All shops in the em­bat­tled chain were or­dered to close yes­ter­day, af­ter health au­thor­i­ties dis­cov­ered yet an­other batch of Stor­n­away tea tainted by pes­ti­cides.

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