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Consumers urged not to consume a batch of pre-packed black pepper dried bean curd from Taiwan (with photo)

     The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (December 6) urged the public not to consume a batch of pre-packed black pepper dried bean curd imported from Taiwan as the product was found to contain Dimethyl yellow, a colouring matter not permitted in food under the law of Hong Kong. Traders who still possess the affected products should also stop selling them.

     Product details are as follows:

Product name: Towfu Cake
Place of origin: Taiwan
Manufacturer: Techang Food Co, Ltd
Net weight: 70 grams
Best before date: March 24, 2015

     A spokesman for the CFS said, "The CFS took a sample of the black pepper dried bean curd from a retail shop in Fau Tsoi Street, Yuen Long for testing under a targeted food surveillance project. Results showed that it contained Dimethyl yellow, a non-permitted colouring matter in food under local legislation. The CFS has taken follow-up action including issuing warning to the retailer concerned, and instructed the traders concerned to take the affected product off the shelves. The distributor/importer are also required to stop selling the affected product."
     "According to the Colouring Matter in Food Regulations (Cap. 132H), Dimethyl yellow is not permitted to be used in food in Hong Kong. The maximum penalty for selling food containing added non-permitted colouring matter is a fine of $50,000 and six months' imprisonment if convicted," the spokesman said.

     Although there have been research results showing that Dimethyl yellow might cause cancer in animal studies, no sufficient evidence has been found to confirm the health effects on humans from dietary intake of this colouring matter. However, for the sake of prudence, the spokesman urged consumers not to consume the batch of affected product and the trade should also stop selling the product. The CFS is following up to see if other batches of the product and other products of the same kind provided by the same manufacturer are in breach of the same regulation.

     When choosing snacks, consumers should go for healthy snacks in appropriate portions, avoid those which are high in fat, sugar or salt, and choose more high-fibre snacks.

     The CFS will alert the trade and the Taiwan authority, continue to closely monitor the situation and take appropriate follow-up actions. Investigation is still ongoing.

Ends/Saturday, December 6, 2014
Issued at HKT 15:18


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