CFS finds trace of malachite green in eel sample

     The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (June 29) announced that an eel sample was found to contain a trace amount of malachite green. Follow-up is in progress.

     A CFS spokesman said, "Subsequent to finding eel samples containing trace amounts of malachite green earlier, the CFS has continued to step up surveillance on eels in the local market. In four eel samples taken for the latest testing, one of the samples taken from Stall No. A9 (English name not available) of Cheung Sha Wan Wholesale Food Market in Kowloon was found to contain a trace amount of malachite green at a level of one part per billion. The other three samples passed the test.

     "Malachite green is a type of industrial dye and has been used for treating infections in fish. Major agricultural economies such as the Mainland, the European Union, Canada and the United States prohibit the use of the chemical in food fish. According to the Harmful Substances in Food Regulations (Cap 132AF), no food sold in Hong Kong is allowed to contain malachite green. Offenders will be prosecuted and will be liable to a fine of $50,000 and to imprisonment for six months upon conviction."

     The CFS has informed the vendor concerned of the irregularity and instructed it to stop sale of the affected batch of the product. According to the information provided by the vendor, there is no remaining stock of the affected batch of the product. The CFS will trace the source and distribution of the affected product. Prosecution will be instituted should there be sufficient evidence.

     The CFS will continue to follow up on the incident and take appropriate action. Investigation is ongoing.

Ends/Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Issued at HKT 19:58