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CFS announces food safety report for April

     The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) today (May 30) released the findings of its food safety report for last month. Other than a fresh beef sample which was detected to contain a preservative, sulphur dioxide, and was announced earlier, one sample of milk was found to be unsatisfactory out of the some 8 900 food samples tested. The overall satisfactory rate was 99.9 per cent.

     A CFS spokesman said about 2 900 food samples had been taken for chemical tests. Some 1 200 samples were collected for microbiological tests and the remaining 4 700 (including about 4 500 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 matter, 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 2 200 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 600 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. Except for the fresh beef sample which was found to contain sulphur dioxide, a non-permitted preservative in fresh meat, and was announced in April 2014, all samples were satisfactory.

Aquatic and related products

     The CFS took some 1 300 samples of fish, shellfish, shrimp, prawn, crab and squid and their products for analysis. The results were all satisfactory.

Milk, milk products and frozen confections

     About 900 samples of ice-cream, cheese, milk and milk products were collected for analysis. The composition of one sample of milk was found not complying with the legal requirement. It contained a level of milk fat of 3.09 per cent while the legal requirement is not less than 3.25 per cent.

     "The sample was collected at the import level and no affected products entered the local market. Consuming milk with milk fat below the legal requirement would not pose any health concern," the spokesman said.

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

Cereals, grains and their products

     The CFS took about 400 samples of rice, noodles, flour, bread and breakfast cereals for analysis. All samples passed the tests.

Other food commodities

     The CFS took about 3 400 food samples consisting of mixed dishes, dim sum, beverages, sushi, sashimi, sugar, sweets, condiments, sauces, snacks, eggs and egg products for tests. All samples were satisfactory.


     The CFS has taken follow-up actions on the unsatisfactory sample, including informing the trade concerned of the test results, marking and sealing the imported food concerned and instructing the vendor concerned to stop the sale of the incriminated food, tracing the source of the food items in question, informing the authority concerned of the exporting country for investigation and taking follow-up samples for further testing. Prosecution action will also 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/Friday, May 30, 2014
Issued at HKT 16:13


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