Public urged not to consume a batch of anchovy paste suspected to contain histamine

4 January 2017
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The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (January 4) urged the public not to consume a batch of anchovy paste manufactured in Italy as it might contain histamine. The trade should also stop using or selling the affected batch of the product.

"The CFS received a notification from the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) of the European Commission that a batch of anchovy paste manufactured in Italy was suspected to contain histamine at a level which does not comply with the country’s standard and the affected batch of product is being recalled. According to the information provided by the RASFF, some of the affected product has been imported into Hong Kong," a spokesman for the CFS said.

Product name: La pasta di acciughe
Brand name: L'isola D'oro
Country of origin: Italy
Manufacturer: Flott SpA
Batch number: 8 033609 750443
Importer: Lorence & Company
Net weight: 60 grams per tube
Best before date: July 11, 2017

The spokesman said that based on the information provided by the RASFF, some of the affected batch of the product had been imported into Hong Kong by a local importer, Lorence & Company. Upon learning of the incident, the CFS has immediately contacted the importer concerned for follow-up. According to the information provided by the importer, a total of 25 cartons of the affected product had been imported into Hong Kong and all had been distributed to local retailers. The company is now recalling the affected product. Members of the public may call the importer's hotline at 2293 9307 during office hours for enquiries about the recall.

The spokesman said that histamine is commonly found in fish of the Scombridae family, as a result of bacterial spoilage. Consumption of fish containing high levels of histamine can cause foodborne intoxication. Symptoms of histamine poisoning include tingling and burning sensation around the mouth, facial flushing and sweating, nausea, vomiting, headache, palpitations, dizziness and rash. The onset of intoxication symptoms is within a few hours and these symptoms will normally disappear in 12 hours without long term effect, the spokesman noted.

The CFS will alert the trade to the incident and will continue to closely monitor the case and take appropriate follow-up action. Investigation is ongoing.

Reprinted from HKSAR Government:
http://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/201701/04/P2017010400785.htm