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Seven kinds of pre-packed dried bean curd from Taiwan contain Dimethyl yellow

     The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (January 6) urged the public not to consume seven kinds of pre-packed dried bean curd imported from Taiwan following a notification from the Taiwanese authorities that the products were found to contain Dimethyl yellow, a non-permitted colouring matter in food. The trade should also stop selling the products concerned immediately.

     Products details provided by the Taiwanese authorities are as follows:

Product name: 1. Satay Dried Bean Curd
              2. Pepper Dried Bean Curd
              3. Mushrooms Dried Bean Curd
              4. Garlic Dried Bean Curd
              5. Meat Dried Bean Curd
              6. Chicken Powder Dried Bean Curd
              7. Sesame Dried Bean Curd
Manufacturer: Yu Hsiang Food Co., Ltd
Place of origin: Taiwan
Best before date: November 20, 2014; December 23, 2014; February 25, 2015; April 6, 2015; and June 13, 2015.
Net weight per pack: 110 grams

     "The Centre today received notification from the Taiwanese authorities that, during follow-up investigations into the recent detection of Dimethyl yellow in a dried bean curd sample originated from Taiwan by the CFS, the above-mentioned batches of products were also found to contain the colouring matter in question and have been exported to Hong Kong," a spokesman for the CFS said.

     "The CFS has immediately contacted the importer of the products concerned, New Generation (Far East) Limited, and instructed it to stop selling and conduct a recall of the affected products. The CFS will alert the trade of the incident and suspend the import of the seven kinds of products," he added.

     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.

     "Although there have been research results showing that Dimethyl yellow might cause cancer in experimental animals, 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, retailers should stop selling the affected products and return them to the supplier/importer concerned. Consumers should also avoid consuming the affected products," the spokesman said.

     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 continue to closely monitor the situation and the recall. Appropriate actions will be taken to safeguard food safety and public health.

Ends/Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Issued at HKT 21:21


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