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Undeclared food allergen found in pizza ingredient (with photo)

     A kind of prepackaged ingredient for making thin pizza, manufactured in Japan, was found containing food allergen, milk protein, which was not listed on its food label.

     A spokesman for the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) today (May 2) advised consumers who were allergic to milk protein to stop eating this particular product. The trade should also stop selling it immediately.

     Product details are as follows:

Product name: Thin Pizza Mix With Rice Flour - Muji
Manufacturer: Ryohin Keikaku Company Limited
Importer: Muji
Place of origin: Japan
Best before date: November 1, 2012
Packing size: 150 grams

     "The sample was collected from a branch of a local chain store for testing under the regular Food Surveillance Programme. The test result showed that the sample contained milk protein.

     "Milk protein is a known food allergen. Those who are allergic to milk protein may develop symptoms like vomiting, diarrhoea and rash, upon consumption. The severe ones may even develop anaphylactic shock," the spokesman said.

     CFS staff have conducted investigations at the concerned shop and other branches of the chain store. They found that the sale of the product has been stopped.

     Follow-up samples will be taken for testing if the same product is found available for sale again at the retail outlets concerned and is suspected to be in violation of the regulation of the Food and Drugs (Composition and Labelling) Regulations (Cap. 132W), the spokesman said.

     Warning letters have also been issued to the concerned vendor and the importer. The trade will also be alerted to stop selling the affected product, he said.

     The spokesman advised consumers who had bought the particular product and were allergic to milk protein should stop eating it, regardless of any batches. People should seek medical treatment if they feel unwell after eating the food.

     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 continue to monitor the situation and take appropriate follow-up actions," the spokesman said.

Ends/Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Issued at HKT 20:26


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