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CFS finds plasticisers in balsamic vinaigrette and sports drink powder (with photo)

     The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department announced today (April 24) that one sample of balsamic vinaigrette imported from the USA and another sample of sports drink powder imported from Japan were found to contain plasticisers, Di-isodecyl phthalate (DIDP) and di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) respectively.

     The CFS called on the public to stop consumption of the affected batches of the products and instructed the trade to immediately stop selling them.

     Details of the affected products are:

(1) Brand name and food name: Good Housekeeping good food Italian Balsamic Vinaigrette
Manufacturer: Tulocay & Co
Importer: City'super
Place of origin: USA
Net weight: 350 milli-litre (bottle)
Best before date: December 6, 2012

(2) Brand name and food name: TOPVALU Sports Drink POWDER
Manufacturer: AEON Co, Ltd
Importer: AIC Merchandising (Japan) Ltd
Place of origin: Japan
Net weight: 64 gramme per sachet (five sachets in each box)
Best before date: September 12, 2012

     A CFS spokesman said, "The two samples were collected at local outlets for testing under the regular Food Surveillance Programme this month.

     "The test result showed that the balsamic vinaigrette sample contained DIDP at a level of 130 parts per million (ppm), exceeding the action level of 9ppm adopted by the CFS; whereas the sports drink powder was found to contain DEHP at a level of 2.3ppm, exceeding the action level of 1.5ppm adopted by the CFS," he said.

     The spokesman said that basing on dietary exposure estimation the exposure to DIDP by even high consumers of the balsamic vinaigrette sample (with a daily consumption of about 20 grammes) would not exceed the safety reference value, i.e. the tolerable daily intake of 0.15mg/kg of body weight established by the European Food Safety Authority.

     "As for the drink powder sample, dietary exposure estimation revealed that the exposure to DEHP by even high consumers (with a daily consumption of about 630 milli-litre of reconstituted beverage with the powder) would not exceed the safety reference value, i.e. the tolerable daily intake of 0.025mg/kg of body weight established by the World Health Organization," he said.

     Even though dietary exposure estimation showed no health concern from consuming the samples, the spokesman said that as a precautionary measure the CFS had instructed the importers concerned to immediately stop selling the affected batches of the products and recall them.

     The CFS was informed that the importers concerned had initiated their own product recall and set up a hotline at 2375 8222 (vinaigrette) and 2884 6888 (sports drink powder) during office hours to answer consumers' enquiries about recall arrangements.

     Those who have purchased the affected products are advised to stop consuming them.

     "The CFS will inform the USA and Japan authorities of the incidents and has alerted the trade. The CFS will follow up the cases and closely monitor the recall arrangements.

     "It will also conduct checks at retail outlets to see if the affected batches are available for sale and take samples of other batches of the products as well as similar products in the market for testing," the spokesman said.

     "If any food product is found to be tainted with plasticisers, the CFS will take necessary follow-up actions to safeguard public health," he said.

Ends/Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Issued at HKT 20:45


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