Undeclared allergen (gluten) found in prepackaged cereal for babies

15 September 2017
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The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (September 15) noted that a kind of prepackaged cereal for babies produced in Canada might contain gluten, a known allergen,  but was not declared on its food label. Consumers are advised not to let babies who are allergic to gluten eat the concerned product. The trade should also stop selling it immediately.
 
Product details are as follows:
 
Product name: Baby's First Buckwheat + Chia Organic Infant Cereal
Brand: Love Child Organics
Place of origin: Canada
Importer/ Sole agent: JM Lifestyle International Limited
Pack size: 227 grams per box
Batch codes: 2018JA24 and 2018AL09
Best before dates: January 24, 2018 ,  April 9, 2018
 
"The CFS, through its Food Incident Surveillance System, noted a notice issued by the Canadian authorities concerned that several batches of the above-mentioned product might contain gluten, a known allergen, which was not declared on its food label and are under recall."
 
Upon learning of the incident, the CFS immediately followed up with major local importers and noted that the above importer had imported the concerned batches of the above-mentioned product and part of the affected product has been distributed to local retailers. The CFS has instructed the importer to stop sale, remove from shelves, and initiate a recall of the product in question. Members of the public may call the importer's hotline at 3705 0457 during office hours for enquiries about the recall.
 
He said the CFS is tracing the distribution of the product concerned. The CFS will also inform the trade of the incident and urge them to stop selling the affected batches of product immediately should they possess it.
 
"Gluten is a known food allergen. Those who are allergic to it may develop symptoms like vomiting, diarrhoea, asthma and rash upon consumption. In severe cases anaphylactic shock may even develop," the spokesman said.
 
The spokesman advised consumers not to let babies who are allergic to gluten eat the product, and to seek medical treatment if they feel unwell after taking the food.
 
The Food and Drugs (Composition and Labelling) Regulations (Cap 132W) require that all prepackaged food for sale in Hong Kong should list out the food ingredients in its list of ingredients. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $50,000 and six months' imprisonment.
 
The CFS will continue to follow up on the incident and take appropriate action. Investigation is on-going.

Reprinted from HKSAR Government:
http://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/201709/15/P2017091501106.htm