Undeclared allergen (milk) found in prepackaged coconut milk powder

12 May 2017
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The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (May 12) announced that a kind of prepackaged coconut milk powder produced in Indonesia was found to contain a food allergen, milk, but it was not declared on the food label. The CFS advised consumers who are allergic to milk to refrain from consuming the product. The trade should also stop using or selling the product immediately should they possess it, regardless of batches.

Details of the product are as follows:

Product name: Organic Coconut Milk Powder (also known as Organic Coconut Cream Powder)
Brand: Family Farm Organics
Place of origin: Indonesia
Supplier/importer: Family Farm Organics Limited
Net weight: Two kilograms per pack

The spokesman said, "While investigating a food complaint, the CFS collected the above-mentioned sample from a restaurant in Central for testing. The test result showed that the sample contained milk, a food allergen, but the ingredient was not declared on the product's food label."

The spokesman said that according to the information provided by the restaurant, the product was supplied by Family Farm Organics Limited. The CFS immediately followed up with the supplier/importer concerned and has instructed it to stop sale and remove from shelves all batches of the affected product. A recall has also been initiated. Members of the public may call the supplier/importer's hotline at 3488 0368 for enquiries during office hours about the recall.

The spokesman advised consumers who are allergic to milk to stop consuming the product concerned. They should seek medical treatment if they feel unwell after consuming it.

"People who are allergic to milk may have immunologic response like vomiting, diarrhoea and rash upon consumption of food containing this allergen. In severe cases, anaphylactic shock may even develop. As for other members of the public, generally speaking, they would not be subject to such reactions when the food in question is consumed," he said.

The Food and Drugs (Composition and Labelling) Regulations (Cap 132W) require that if prepackaged food for sale in Hong Kong contains milk, it shall be specified in the list of ingredients. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $50,000 and six months' imprisonment.

The CFS will alert the trade to the incident, and will continue to follow up and take appropriate action including tracing the distribution of the product concerned. Investigation is ongoing.

Reprinted from HKSAR Government:
http://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/201705/12/P2017051201007.htm