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Test results on rice dumplings released

     As the Tuen Ng Festival is approaching, the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) today (May 24) released the test results from a seasonal food surveillance project on rice dumplings. All 95 samples were satisfactory.

     "The CFS collected samples of rice dumplings of different types and flavours from over 60 restaurants, food factories and other retail outlets for microbiological and chemical testing," a spokesman for the CFS said.

     The chemical analyses conducted included tests for colouring matters (such as Sudan dyes and tartrazine), preservatives (such as boric acid, salicylic acid and benzoic acid), metallic contamination (such as arsenic, cadmium and mercury) and pesticides (such as methamidophos and DDT). The microbiological tests covered pathogenic bacteria (such as Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus cereus).

     Despite the satisfactory results, the spokesman reminded members of the public to follow the Five Keys to Food Safety in purchasing, storing, preparing and cooking rice dumplings to reduce the risk of contracting food-borne diseases. They are:

* Buy rice dumplings from reliable retail outlets.
* Pay attention to the hygiene conditions of the premises where rice dumplings are sold and the storage temperature to ensure good quality.

* Before eating, wash hands thoroughly with liquid soap and running water and dry them with a dry towel or paper towel.

Separate raw and cooked food
* Cooked rice dumplings should be kept in a covered container and put in the upper compartment of the refrigerator. Raw food should be kept in the lower compartment to prevent cross-contamination.

Cook thoroughly
* Reheat rice dumplings thoroughly until the core temperature reaches 75 degrees Celsius or above before consumption.
* Opened rice dumplings should be discarded if they have been kept under room temperature for over two hours.
* Do not reheat leftover rice dumplings more than once.

Safe temperature
* Rice dumplings should be stored at 4 degrees Celsius or below, or stored properly according to the instructions on the package.

     People are advised to maintain a balanced diet and avoid eating too many rice dumplings during the festival period.

     The spokesman also reminded food manufacturers to purchase food ingredients from reliable suppliers, adhere to Good Manufacturing Practice for preparation of food products and comply with legal requirements when using food additives.

     More food safety tips are available at the CFS website (

Ends/Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Issued at HKT 14:31


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