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Test results on hairy crabs satisfactory

     The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department has announced that test results for more than 80 hairy crab samples collected at import and retail levels for chemical tests in a recently completed seasonal food surveillance project were all satisfactory.

     The tests included veterinary drug residues (including chloramphenicol, sulphonamides, tetracycline, nitrofurans and malachite green), metallic contaminants (such as mercury, lead and arsenic), synthetic hormones, colouring matters (such as Sudan dyes) and oxalic acid.

     A CFS spokesman today (October 7) said, "Despite the satisfactory results, the CFS will remain vigilant and continue its surveillance on hairy crabs available in the market to ensure food safety and protect public health."

     He advised people to observe the "Five Keys to Food Safety" in purchasing, storing, preparing and cooking hairy crabs to prevent food-borne illnesses.

     The "Five Keys to Food Safety" for consumers are:

Choose wisely
* Buy crabs from reliable and hygienic shops or restaurants; and
* Buy crabs with intact, shiny shells and without a foul smell.

Keep clean
* Brush and wash the crab shells and claws before cooking; and
* Wash hands thoroughly with running water and soap before consumption.

Separate raw and cooked food
* Put the crabs in a container with a cover and store them separately from other foods in the refrigerator to avoid cross-contamination.

Cook thoroughly
* Avoid eating raw crabs. Cook thoroughly and remove internal organs completely before consumption. Condiments such as salt, vinegar, wine and wasabi cannot kill bacteria or parasites that may be present.

Safe temperature
* Cooked crabs should be consumed as soon as possible and never keep them in room temperature for more than two hours.

     "People should maintain a balanced diet and avoid eating too many hairy crabs, particularly the cholesterol-rich roe," the spokesman said.

     Traders should source hairy crabs from reliable suppliers, and be aware that hairy crabs imported from the Mainland bear health certificates issued by relevant health authorities. Moreover, hairy crabs for sale must be kept in a refrigerator.

Ends/Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Issued at HKT 16:46


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