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Two durian samples detected with colouring matter curcumin
     The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (July 26) announced that two durian samples were detected with curcumin, a colouring matter which should not be added to fruit and vegetables in a raw and unprocessed state. The CFS is following up on the cases.

     A spokesman for the CFS said, "The CFS collected a total of 20 durian samples for testing of curcumin under its routine Food Surveillance Programme. The husks of two samples collected at a stall at Kowloon Wholesale Fruit Market in Yau Ma Tei and a retail outlet in Tuen Mun respectively were detected with curcumin, while the remaining samples were all satisfactory. The CFS has informed the vendors concerned of the irregularity and requested them to stop sale and remove from shelves the affected batches of the products.

     "Turmeric is a rhizomatour herbaceous perennial plant and curcumin is a natural food colouring extracted from turmeric. According to the Colouring Matter in Food Regulations (Cap 132H), although colouring matter can be added to processed food, it should not be added to meat, game, poultry, fish, fruit or vegetables in a raw and unprocessed state. Upon conviction, offenders shall be liable to a fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for six months," the spokesman said.

     "Although curcumin is a food colouring of low-toxicity, the law has a stringent requirement on its use. The trade should observe the relevant laws and regulations, follow Good Manufacturing Practice and use food additives in an appropriate manner," he said.

     Generally speaking, removing the shells of hard-shelled fruits upon consumption can reduce the intake of colouring matter, the spokesman noted.

     The CFS will continue to follow up and take appropriate action including tracing the sources and distribution of the food items in question. Investigation is ongoing.
Ends/Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Issued at HKT 19:06
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