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CFS announces food safety report for February

     The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) today (March 31) released the findings of its food safety report for last month. Two samples of frozen confection were found to be unsatisfactory out of the 7 700 food samples tested. The overall satisfactory rate was 99.9 per cent.

     A CFS spokesman said about 2 400 food samples had been taken for chemical tests. Some 700 samples were collected for microbiological tests and the remaining 4 600 (including about
4 400 samples taken from food imported from Japan) were collected for testing of radiation levels.

     The microbiological tests covered pathogens and hygienic indicators, while the chemical tests aimed at detecting pesticides, preservatives, metallic contamination, colouring matters, veterinary drug residues, plasticisers and others.

     The samples included vegetables and fruits and their products; meat and poultry and their products; aquatic and related products; milk, milk products and frozen confections; and cereals, grains and their products.

Vegetables, fruits and their products

     The CFS took about 2 000 samples of fresh vegetables, fruits, legumes, preserved vegetables and pickled fruits, dried vegetables and ready-to-eat vegetables for analysis. All samples were satisfactory.

Meat, poultry and their products

     The CFS completed the testing of about 500 samples, including fresh, chilled and frozen pork, beef and poultry, ready-to-eat dishes of meat and poultry served at food establishments, and meat- and poultry-made products such as Chinese preserved meat, sausages and ham. The results were all satisfactory.

Aquatic and related products

     The CFS took some 1 200 samples of fish, shellfish, shrimp, prawn, crab and squid and their products for analysis with all results satisfactory.

Milk, milk products and frozen confections

     About 500 samples of ice-cream, cheese, milk and milk products were collected for analysis. Two samples of frozen confection of the same brand but of different flavours imported from the United Kingdom (UK) were found to contain coliform organisms at levels between 1 200 and 2 400 coliform count per gram, exceeding the legal limit of no more than 100 coliform count per gram.

     "The frozen confection samples were collected at the import level and the affected consignments were marked and sealed. No affected products entered the local market. Coliform organisms exceeding the legal limit indicate unsatisfactory hygienic conditions." the spokesman said.

     Results of other tests (e.g. melamine, preservatives, veterinary drug residues and colouring matters) were satisfactory.

Cereals, grains and their products

     The CFS took about 500 samples of rice, noodles, flour, bread and breakfast cereals for analysis. All samples passed the tests.

Other food commodities

     The CFS took about 3 000 food samples consisting of mixed dishes, dim sum, beverages, sushi, sashimi, sugar, sweets, condiments, sauces, snacks, eggs and egg products for tests. All results were satisfactory.

Testing of radiation level after Fukushima incident

     The CFS has been collecting over 50 000 food samples imported from Japan each year since the Fukushima incident in 2011 for testing of radiation levels. For aquatic and related products originating from Japan, the Centre tested around 800 samples last month and all were satisfactory. Results of surveillance on food imported from Japan are uploaded to the CFS' website daily.


     The CFS has taken follow-up actions on the unsatisfactory samples including informing the importer concerned regarding the frozen confection has exceeded the legal limit, tracing the source of the food items in question and informing the relevant authority in the UK for follow-up investigation. Related frozen confections will not be allowed for sale in Hong Kong until the CFS accepts the investigation report by the importer and the relevant UK authority. Prosecution will be taken if there is sufficient evidence.

     The spokesman reminded the food trade to ensure that their food is fit for consumption and meets legal requirements. The trade should also maintain a good recording system in accordance with the Food Safety Ordinance to allow source tracing if needed.

     Consumers should patronise reliable shops when buying food and maintain a balanced diet to minimise food risk.

Ends/Monday, March 31, 2014
Issued at HKT 15:25


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