Canadian ground beef tainted with a virulent strain of E. coli has not been imported into Taiwan, the Food and Drug Administration under the country's Department of Health said Tuesday.
The FDA assured the public that since Taiwan still bans imports of Canadian ground beef, the suspect produce has not been sold in Taiwan.
It also urged Taiwanese tourists in Canada to be aware of the food safety issue and to avoid purchasing items that may be tainted.
The assurance came after the Canadian Food Inspection Agency announced on its website Sept. 16 that several ground beef products in Canada had been found to be tainted with E. coli O157:H7, a potentially deadly form of the food-borne disease.
Among the various brands listed on the alert list were Costco Wholesale Corp's in-house Kirkland Signature brand, which is well-known in Taiwan, as the retailer operates nine outlets around the country.
Costco's tainted ground beef products in Canada were lean ground beef with 15% fat or less, lean ground beef patties and ground beef tube with 86% lean full case/manual weight, according to the Canadian food agency.
The Canadian food authority recalled the products in Canada, and warned the public against consuming, selling, or serving them.
Symptoms of the vicious bacteria include severe abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea. Some can develop seizures or strokes and may need kidney dialysis. In some severe cases, the disease can be fatal, according to the Canadian authorities.