Samples of bottled orange juice drink and prepackaged dried mango in breach of food labelling regulations
The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department announced today (October 11) that the Vitamin C content of a sample of bottled orange juice drink was found to be inconsistent with the declared content on its nutrition label, and a sample of prepackaged dried mango was found to contain a preservative, sulphur dioxide, but undeclared on its food label, both breaching the food labelling regulations. The CFS urged the trade to stop selling the affected batches of the products immediately.
Details of the products are as follows:
(1) Product name: Orange Juice Drink
Brand: pure j
Place of origin: Australia
Packer: Bevco Pty Ltd
Volume: 1 litre per bottle
Use-by date: November 14, 2017
(2) Product: Taiwan No.1 Golden 999 Mangoes
Place of origin: Taiwan
Manufacturer: Hung Yu Agriculture Biotech Enterprise Ltd
Hong Kong Distributor: Treasure Food Limited
Net weight: 100 grams/3.5ounces
Best before date: August 3, 2018
"While investigating a referral case, the CFS collected the above-mentioned orange juice drink sample from a supermarket in Sha Tin for testing. The test result showed that there was a discrepancy between the actual content of Vitamin C (36mg/100mL) and the declared content (58mg/100mL) on its nutrition label. As to the dried mango sample, it was collected subsequent to CFS’ earlier announcement that a dried mango sample taken from a retail store in Jordan was found to contain sulphur dioxide but not declared on the product's food label. This sample taken from another batch of the same kind of product in the shop was also detected with a similar irregularity, despite that fact that the level of sulphur dioxide contained was within the legal limit, susceptible individuals who are allergic to sulphur dioxide may experience breathing difficulties, headache and nausea if they consume this kind of food." the spokesman said.
"The CFS has informed the vendors concerned of the irregularities and the vendors have stopped selling and removed from shelves the affected batch of the orange juice drink and dried mango concerned according to CFS's instructions. Should there be sufficient evidence, prosecution will be instituted. The CFS is also tracing the sources and distribution of the affected products," the spokesman said.
According to Section 61 of the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Cap 132), if any person falsely describes a food or misleads as to the nature, substance or quality of the food on a label of the food sold by him, he shall be guilty of an offence. Also, 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 on its list of ingredients. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $50,000 and six months' imprisonment.
The CFS will inform the trade, continue to follow up on the cases and take appropriate action.
Reprinted from HKSAR Government: