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Egg samples imported from Belgium found with pesticide fipronil exceeding legal limit
     The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (August 31) said that the Centre held and tested at import level a consignment of eggs imported from Belgium and found that three samples from the same consignment contained a pesticide, fipronil, at levels exceeding the legal limit. The product concerned has been marked and sealed by the Centre and has not entered the market. The CFS is following up on the incident.

     Details of the product are as follows:

Product: Fresh brown shell eggs
Place of origin: Belgium
Importer: Keencity Enterprises Limited
Use-by date: January 19, 2018

     A spokesman for the CFS said, "In response to the earlier incident in which Dutch eggs were detected with fipronil, the CFS has already stepped up holding poultry eggs and egg products from member states of the European Union for testing at import level and these products will only be released to the market for sale upon satisfactory test results. The CFS took the above-mentioned samples at import level for testing. The results showed that they contained fipronil at levels of 0.062 parts per million (ppm), 0.077 ppm and 0.087 ppm, with all of them exceeding the maximum residue limit of 0.02 ppm as stipulated in the local legislation."

     The spokesman added, "The importer concerned has imported a total of 931 cartons of the affected eggs. All of them have been marked and sealed earlier by the CFS under the hold and test arrangement and none has entered the market. The importer will either voluntarily surrender the affected products for the CFS' disposal or return them to the country of origin, i.e. Belgium. Prosecution will be initiated should there be sufficient evidence."

     Any person who imports, manufactures or sells any food not in compliance with the requirements of the Pesticide Residues in Food Regulation (Cap 132CM) concerning pesticide residues commits an offence and is liable to a maximum fine of $50,000 and to imprisonment for six months upon conviction.

     The CFS has informed the Belgium authorities and continue to take appropriate follow-up action with regard to the latest developments of the incident to safeguard food safety and public health.
Ends/Thursday, August 31, 2017
Issued at HKT 19:35
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