CFS urges public not to consume a kind of bottled apple juice drink contaminated with patulin

29 May 2020
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The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (May 29) announced that a sample of a bottled apple juice drink imported from Australia was found to be contaminated with a mycotoxin, patulin, at a level exceeding the action level adopted by the CFS. A follow-up is in progress.

"The CFS collected the above-mentioned sample at a supermarket in To Kwa Wan for testing under its routine Food Surveillance Programme. The test result showed that the sample contained patulin at a level of 110 parts per billion (ppb), exceeding the action level of 50 ppb adopted by the CFS. The level is the same as the standard of the Codex Alimentarius Commission on patulin in apple juice," a CFS spokesman said.

Product details are as follows:

Product name: Cold Pressed Granny Smith Apple
Brand: Presha Fruit
Country of origin: Australia
Distributor: A.S. Watson Group (HK) Ltd.
Volume: 350ml per bottle
Best-before date: August 7, 2020

The CFS has informed the importer, PARKnSHOP (HK) Limited, and the distributor concerned of the irregularity. The importer and distributor concerned have stopped sale and removed from shelves the affected batch of the product, and initiated a recall according to the CFS' instructions. Members of the public may call the distributor's hotline at 2606 8658 during office hours for enquiries about the recall.

"Patulin mostly occurs in rotten apple and its products. Animal studies have shown that ingesting high doses of patulin can induce liver, spleen and kidney damage, as well as toxicity to the immune system. For humans, nausea, gastrointestinal disturbances and vomiting have been reported," the spokesman said.

According to Section 54 of the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Cap 132), all food for sale in Hong Kong, locally produced or imported, should be fit for human consumption. An offender is subject to a maximum fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for six months upon conviction.

The CFS will alert the trade, continue to follow up on the case and take appropriate action to safeguard food safety and public health. An investigation is ongoing.

Reposted from Centre for Food Safety

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