Excessive metallic contaminants found in two dried mushroom samples

     The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (February 11) announced that two dried mushroom samples were detected with metallic contaminants, cadmium, at levels exceeding the legal limit. Members of the public should not consume the affected products and the trade should also stop selling the affected batches of products immediately.

     Details of the two samples are as follows:

1. Product name: Wai Yuen Tong dried mushroom
Place of origin: China
Best before: February 6, 2016
Net weight: 375 grams

2. Product name: First Edible Nest dried mushroom
Place of origin: China
Best before: January 1, 2016
Net weight: 605g

     "The CFS collected the samples from two shops in Quarry Bay for testing under its regular Food Surveillance Programme. The test results showed that the Wai Yuen Tong sample and the First Edible Nest sample contained cadmium at levels of 1.7 parts per million (ppm) and 1.4 ppm respectively. After applying the conversion factors for dried foods as recommended by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the reported cadmium levels for the two samples were 0.15 and 0.13 respectively, still exceeding the legal limit of 0.1 ppm. The CFS will inform the vendors concerned of the test results, instruct the vendors to stop the sale of the affected batches of the products at all their retail outlets, and trace the source and distribution of the food items in question," a CFS spokesman said.

     According to the Food Adulteration (Metallic Contamination) Regulations (Cap. 132V), any person who sells food with metallic contamination above the legal limit is liable upon conviction to a fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for six months.

     "Based on the levels of cadmium detected in the samples, adverse health effects will not be caused by normal consumption. However, consumers who have bought and still possess the affected batches of the products should stop eating them. They are advised to seek medical advice if they feel sick upon consumption," the spokesman said.

     The CFS will inform the Mainland authorities and the local trade, continue to investigate and take appropriate actions to safeguard food safety and public health. Investigation is ongoing.

     Among some 4 000 samples taken by the Centre for testing for metallic contaminants last year, eight (comprising three raw oyster samples, three swordfish samples, a swordfish fibres sample and a broccoli sample) failed the tests while the remaining samples were all satisfactory. The overall satisfactory rate was 99.8 per cent.

Ends/Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Issued at HKT 19:28