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Turmeric rice sample from Vietnam detected with non-permitted preservative sorbic acid and in breach of food labelling regulations
     The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (July 13) announced that a sample of prepackaged turmeric rice imported from Vietnam was found to contain sorbic acid, a preservative not permitted to add in rice, and the food ingredients were not listed out on its food label. The trade should stop using or selling the affected batch of the product immediately should they possess it.

     Product details are as follows:

Product name: CANA RICE (GABA germinated rice with fresh turmeric extraction)
Place of origin: Vietnam
Importer: Mega Treasure International Development Limited
Net weight: 1kg per pack
Best before date: August 22, 2018

     "The CFS collected the above-mentioned sample from an online shop for testing under its regular Food Surveillance Programme. The test result showed that the sample contained sorbic acid at a level of 442 parts per million (ppm). According to the Preservatives in Food Regulation (Cap 132BD), sorbic acid is not permitted to add in rice. Besides, it was found that food ingredients were not listed out on its food label, which was in breach of the food labelling regulations," the spokesman said.

     The CFS has informed the vendor and importer concerned of the irregularities and instructed them to stop sale and remove from shelves the affected batch of the product. The CFS is also tracing the source and distribution of the product concerned.

     The spokesman said, "Sorbic acid is a preservative of low-toxicity. Based on the level detected in the above mentioned sample, adverse health effects will not be caused by usual consumption."

     The spokesman reminded the food trade that the use of preservatives in food must comply with the Preservatives in Food Regulation (Cap 132BD). Offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $50,000 and six months' imprisonment upon conviction.

     In addition, the Food and Drugs (Composition and Labelling) Regulations (Cap 132W) require that all prepackaged food for sale in Hong Kong should list out the food ingredients in its list of ingredients. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $50,000 and six months' imprisonment.

     The CFS will inform the trade, continue to follow up on the case and take appropriate actions. Investigation is ongoing.
Ends/Thursday, July 13, 2017
Issued at HKT 19:55
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