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Call to stop consuming grilled grouper containing Tetrodotoxin (with photos)

     The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (June 15) called on the public to stop consuming "ACE Family" grilled grouper imported from Thailand and the trade to stop selling the food product as it is detected to contain Tetrodotoxin.

     Product details are as follows:

Product name: "ACE Family" Grilled grouper (original)
Importer/Retailer/Packer: Great Pilot International Ltd
Place of origin: Thailand
Best before date: February 15, 2013
Packing size: 95 grammes

     The samples were collected from the above importer/retailer/packer for testing with results showing that it contained Tetrodotoxin, a potent toxin, at levels between 0.31 mg and 1.7 mg/kg.

     A spokesman for the CFS appealed to members of the public who had purchased the said grilled grouper or grilled grouper of other flavours of the same brand from the above importer/retailer/packer not to consume them. They should return the remaining grilled grouper to the importer/retailer/packer. The CFS has instructed the importer/retailer/packer to recall the products from the customers. If symptoms develop after consuming the food, consumers should seek medical advice immediately.

     The onset of symptoms of tetrodotoxin intoxication usually occurs from 10 to 45 minutes after ingestion, but may be delayed by three hours or more. Paraesthesia appears in the face and extremities, which may be followed by dizziness or numbness. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and epigastric pain may also be present. Later, respiratory symptoms such as rapid breathing may follow. Low blood pressure, convulsions, irregular heart rate and even death may occur.

     The risk assessment indicated that the consumption of about one pack of the concerned product may reach the minimum dosage of causing poisoning symptoms, such as appearance of paraesthesia sensation over the face and extremities.

     "The concerned importer/retailer/packer has surrendered the remaining stock of the food item to the CFS for disposal. The company indicated to the CFS that product recall is underway. For enquiries about the recall, members of the public may call the company's telephone hotline (2234 4868) during office hours," the spokesman said.

     A warning letter will be issued to the concerned company. The CFS will also inform the Thai authorities. Follow-up samples will be taken for testing if the same product is found available for sale again.

Ends/Friday, June 15, 2012
Issued at HKT 22:43


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