There’s been a lot of news about chemical maleic anhydride in starch used to make bubble tea in Taiwan in terms of fears that the tapioca pearls may be toxic. The pearls have been recalled and there has been some debate on what will happen to bubble tea. Officials assure though, that bubble tea is here to stay.
President Ma Ying-jeou has pledged that Taiwan will explain the incident to the international community and take action. This includes fast-tracking legislative review of amendments to Taiwan’s food sanitation act, as well as strengthening food-safety monitoring. Taiwan’s Department of Health has identified more than 20 firms involved in the cases of bad starch and destroyed 312 tons of products. The country’s local governments have been instructed to enforce stricter market inspections, while all relevant agencies will cooperate to prevent unauthorized additives from entering the food market. The public has been encouraged to participate in this national campaign by reporting any wrongdoing. The government has also demanded that exporters provide necessary documentation to prevent contaminated products from leaving the country.Lastly, vendors and retailers of foods containing modified starch are now required to post safety certificates in order to reinforce food inspection in the future.
There is definitely movement that bubble tea will be safe again and that people will be drinking it as usual. With these new policies in place Taiwan will be able to provide that delicious beverage and know it will be safe too.