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Permitted sweetener found in bottled tomato juice sample not declared

     The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department announced today (April 27) that a bottled tomato juice sample was found to be in breach of food labelling regulations for not declaring on its food label a permitted sweetener, steviol glycosides, that it contained. The CFS urged the trade to stop selling the affected batch of the product immediately.

     Details of the product are as follows:

Product name: Dongwon Tomato Juice
Place of origin: Korea
Importer: Kofco Enterprise (Asia) Company Limited
Volume: 180 millilitres per bottle
Best-before date: July 20, 2016

     "The CFS collected the above-mentioned tomato juice sample for testing at a supermarket in Mong Kok under its regular Food Surveillance Programme. The test result showed that the sample contained a permitted sweetener for food use, namely steviol glycosides, but it was not declared on the list of ingredients on the product's food label," a CFS spokesman said.

     The CFS has informed the vendor concerned of the irregularity and the vendor concerned has removed from shelves and stopped sale of the affected batch of the product according to the instructions of the CFS. The CFS has also followed up with the importer concerned to trace the distribution of the affected product.  

     The spokesman urged the trade to observe the relevant laws and regulations. The Food and Drugs (Composition and Labelling) Regulations (Cap.132W) require that all prepackaged food for sale in Hong Kong should list out the food ingredients on its list of ingredients. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $50,000 and six months' imprisonment.   
     The CFS will inform the trade, continue to follow up on the case and take appropriate action.

Ends/Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Issued at HKT 19:10


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