Taipei, Costco Taiwan has pulled IMei brand fresh milk off the shelves of its outlets after a few consumers questioned the freshness of the product.
A consumer complained on Costco's Facebook page that the IMei brand milk he bought had turned sour even though it was still within the expiration date, and the complaint was echoed by others.
After receiving the feedback, Costco Taiwan announced it would stop selling IMei brand fresh milk and that IMei Foods Co. will look into the alleged incidents.
The membershipbased American wholesale club said it will not put IMei's milk back on its shelves until the company clears the suspicions, and stressed that consumers can return unexpired IMei milk to their stores and for full refunds.
IMei President Kao Chihming said in a statement that the company's milk is pasteurized using the "hightemperature, shorttime" (HTST) technology instead of "ultraheat treatment" (UHT) to preserve the milk's nutrition.
But the downside of the HTST method is that the milk can go sour more easily when it is not stored at the right temperature, Kao said, and he urged retailers and consumers to help the company maintain the quality of its product.
The spoiling of dairy products is usually associated with the way they are being preserved, Food Safety Division head Pan Chihkuan of the Food and Drug Administration explained in an interview.
The process of pasteurization does not kill all the bacteria, which will proliferate and lead to the milk souring and curdling if the product is is not stored and preserved correctly, he said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel