Results of tests on mooncakes

     The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) collected more than 200 mooncake samples under a Seasonal Food Surveillance Programme and the results were all satisfactory.

     A spokesman for the CFS said today (September 13) that 250 samples, covering traditional, snowy, ice-cream and other types of mooncakes, had been collected from various retailers and food factories recently.

     Samples were taken for chemical and microbiological tests. The chemical tests included colouring matters such as sudan dyes, preservatives such as sulphur dioxide, antioxidants, pesticides, heavy metals, aflatoxins and mineral oil. The microbiological tests covered total bacterial count, coliform organisms and pathogens such as Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus and Listeria monocytogenes.

     Despite the satisfactory results of all samples, the spokesman reminded the food trade to purchase food ingredients from reliable suppliers. "They should adhere to 'good manufacturing practice' and comply with the legal requirements when using food additives," he said.

     "Snowy and ice-cream mooncakes, which do not undergo a baking process at high temperature, need to be handled hygienically during processing, transportation and storage to avoid contamination and growth of food poisoning germs," he said.  

     He also advised the public to observe the "five keys to food safety" in the purchase, storage and consumption of mooncakes to prevent food-borne illnesses.

     The "five keys" for mooncake consumers are as follows:

* Buy mooncakes from reliable outlets, check whether the mooncakes are properly packaged, pay attention to the expiry dates and eat them within the recommended period;

* Store the mooncakes in a refrigerator immediately after purchase (snowy mooncakes should be kept at four degrees Celsius or below, and ice-cream mooncakes at minus 18 degrees Celsius or below) and consume them as soon as possible after taking them out from the refrigerator;

* Use an icebox to carry snowy or ice-cream mooncakes outdoors and consume them as soon as possible;

* Wrap mooncakes properly and keep separately from raw food when storing in refrigerator; and

* Maintain good personal hygiene. Wash hands properly with liquid soap and running water before handling mooncakes.

     The spokesman reminded people to eat mooncakes in moderation, as they are mostly high in sugar and fat, and to maintain a balanced diet.  Patients with chronic illnesses should consult physicians or dietitians before eating mooncakes.

     The public may browse the CFS website ( ) for information on the test results and the food safety tips.

Ends/Monday, September 13, 2010
Issued at HKT 16:27