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HK to prohibit imports of a fruit jelly produced in Taiwan (with photo)

     The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) announced today (June 1) that it would prohibit from noon tomorrow (June 2) imports and supply of the following food:

Brand and food name: Sheng Shiang Jen (translation) Konjac Coconut Jelly (Taro Flavour)
Manufacturer: Triko Foods Co, Ltd
Place of origin: Taiwan
Count/Weight/Volume: All count/weight/volume
Batch No.: All batches

     The CFS also ordered the trade (importer/distributor/retailer) to complete recall of the above fruit jelly available in the market according to the specified manner within 30 days from noon tomorrow.

     The aforesaid food, if accompanied by a certificate issued by the relevant Taiwanese authority stating that the levels of plasticisers di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) do not exceed 1.5 parts per million (ppm), will be exempted.

     "The CFS has taken immediate follow-up actions since it learned of the plasticiser contamination incident in Taiwan last week. According to the information provided by the Taiwanese authority, samples of Taiwan food and drinks were collected from the importers and at retail outlets for testing," a CFS spokesman said.

     "Test results of nine samples were announced on May 30. Results of another five samples of fruit jelly produced in Taiwan revealed that one of them, Sheng Shiang Jen (translation) Konjac Coconut Jelly (Taro Flavour) was found to contain DEHP at a level of 18 parts per million (ppm).

     "Neither DEHP nor di-isononyl phthalate (DINP) were found in the other four samples under the same brand, namely, Konjac Coconut Jelly (Mango Flavour), Konjac Coconut Jelly (Assorted Flavour), Konjac Coconut Jelly (Peach Flavour) and Lychee Coconut Jelly."

     Based on risk assessment findings, taking an example of a five-year-old child, the exposure of DEHP from consuming the affected food by a child who is an average consumer (with daily consumption of a cup of the aforesaid jelly (Taro Flavour) of about 25 gram), and a child who is a high consumer (with daily consumption of two cups of the aforesaid jelly (Taro Flavour), each of about 25 gram) will exceed the safety reference value, i.e. the tolerable daily intake (TDI) of 0.025 milligrammes (mg) per kilogramme (kg) of body weight under the World Health Organisation (WHO) Guidelines for drinking-water quality, which may pose a risk to human health.

     "Long-term consumption at high level may affect the liver and the kidney, and may cause cancer. The CFS made the decision to safeguard food safety and public health," the spokesman said.

     The Director of Food and Environmental Hygiene (DFEH) is empowered to make an order to prohibit the import and supply of any food under Section 78B of the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Cap. 132), and to direct that any food supplied be recalled.

     "The CFS has notified the trade of this new arrangement and urged them to take the initiative to suspend selling any drinks or food that might be affected. We shall issue food alerts to the trade to keep them abreast of the latest information released by the Taiwanese authority as soon as possible," the spokesman added.

     "The CFS also specified that relevant traders should suspend from sale other flavours of Sheng Shiang Jen (translation) fruit jelly unless a certificate stating that the products are free from plasticisers can be provided,"the spokesman added.

     He said, "The CFS prohibited the imports and supply of two kinds of sports drinks produced in Taiwan effective from noon yesterday. Any concerned food supplied should also be recalled. As the Taiwanese authority has been updating information on the vendors and products involved in the plasticiser contamination incident on a daily basis, the CFS will strengthen its surveillance and testing of five categories of products according to such information. The categories are sports drinks; flavoured juice; tea beverages; fruit jam/syrup and fruit jelly; and powder and tablet supplement. Test results will be uploaded to the CFS' website (

     "The DFEH, in deciding whether to prohibit the import of the affected products from Taiwan, will take into full consideration the test results of plasticisers found in food and the risk management actions taken by the Taiwanese authority and even the relevant authorities in other countries, as well as the levels of plasticisers detected in the food samples taken in Hong Kong, as well as the results of overall risk assessment."

     Besides, the CFS urged the public not to consume for the time being a star fruit juice produced in Taiwan which might be tainted with DEHP. The trade should immediately stop selling the affected product.

     The spokesman said, according to information provided by the Taiwanese authority, consignments of a star fruit juice produced by the Topsense Beverage Co, Ltd, have been distributed to Hong Kong. The star fruit juice is one of the items detected in Taiwan to be contaminated with DEHP.

     "The CFS has requested the Taiwanese authority to provide more details, and is tracing the concerned importers and distributors to know more about the sale of the star fruit juice in Hong Kong. Sales checks have also been conducted, but no concerned product has been found on sale in the market at the moment," the spokesman said.

     "The Centre will continue to liaise with the Taiwanese authority on the plasticiser contamination incident, closely monitor the situation and take appropriate follow-up actions."

Ends/Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Issued at HKT 23:41


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