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Results of tests on mooncake samples all satisfactory

     The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) collected more than 200 mooncake samples under a seasonal food surveillance programme and the test results were all satisfactory.

     A spokesman for the CFS said today (September 7) that 270 samples of over 20 brands, covering traditional, snowy, ice-cream and other types of mooncakes, had been collected from various retailers and food factories for testing.

     Samples were taken for chemical and microbiological tests. The chemical tests covered colouring matters such as Sudan dyes and tartrazine, preservatives such as sulphur dioxide and sorbic acid, antioxidants, pesticides, heavy metals, aflatoxins and mineral oil. The microbiological tests covered total bacterial count, coliform organisms and pathogens such as Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus and Listeria monocytogenes.

     The spokesman said that food traders should always adhere to the Good Manufacturing Practice. Other than purchasing food ingredients from reliable suppliers, they should also comply with the legal requirements when using food additives.

     "Snowy and ice-cream mooncakes, which do not undergo a baking process at high temperature, need to be handled hygienically during processing, transportation and storage to avoid contamination and growth of germs," he said.

     He also advised the public to observe the Five Keys to Food Safety in the purchase, storage and consumption of mooncakes to prevent food-borne diseases.

     The Five Keys to Food Safety are as follows:

* Buy mooncakes from reliable outlets rather than patronising unlicensed hawkers; check whether the mooncakes are properly packaged, pay attention to the expiry dates before purchase and eat them within the recommended period;

* Store the mooncakes in a refrigerator immediately after purchase (snowy mooncakes should be kept at 4 degrees Celsius or below, and ice-cream mooncakes at minus 18 degrees Celsius or below) and consume them as soon as possible after taking them out from the refrigerator;

* Use an icebox to carry snowy or ice-cream mooncakes outdoors and consume them as soon as possible;

* Wrap mooncakes properly and separate them from raw food when storing in a refrigerator to prevent cross contamination; and

* Maintain good personal hygiene. Wash hands properly with liquid soap and running water before handling mooncakes.

     The spokesman reminded people to avoid excessive eating of mooncakes as they are mostly high in sugar and fat, and to maintain a balanced diet.

     The test results and healthy food safety tips are now available at the CFS website (

Ends/Friday, September 7, 2012
Issued at HKT 14:31


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