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Prepackaged lobster meat with crab paste sample in breach of food labelling regulation
The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department announced today (June 16) that a sample of prepackaged lobster meat with crab paste was found to contain sulphur dioxide, a preservative which is allowed to be used in food, but the functional class and name of the additive were not declared on the food label. Members of the public should not consume the affected batch of the product. The trade should also stop using or selling the affected batch of the product immediately if they possess it.
Product details are as follows:
Product name: Lobster Meat with Crab Paste
Country of origin: Korea
Manufacturer: YD Korea
Hong Kong and Macao sole agent (distributor): Kiu Victory Int'l Trading Limited
Net weight: 90 grams per can
Best-before date: October 25, 2021
"The CFS collected the above-mentioned sample from a supermarket in Quarry Bay for testing under its routine Food Surveillance Programme. The test result showed that the sample contained sulphur dioxide. Although the sulphur dioxide level is below the maximum permitted level under the Preservatives in Food Regulation (Cap 132BD), the functional class and name of the additive were not declared on the food label of the sample," a CFS spokesman said.
"The CFS has informed the vendor concerned of the irregularity and instructed it to stop sale and remove from shelves the affected batch of the product. The distributor concerned has initiated a recall according to the CFS' instructions. Members of the public may call the distributor's hotline at 2656 1298 during office hours for enquiries about the recall. The CFS is also tracing the source of the affected product," the spokesman added.
Sulphur dioxide is a preservative of low toxicity used in a variety of foods including dried vegetables, dried fruits, pickled vegetables and salted fish products. However, susceptible individuals who are allergic to this preservative may experience breathing difficulties, headaches and nausea after consumption.
The spokesman reminded the food trade that the use of preservatives in food must comply with the Preservatives in Food Regulation (Cap 132BD). Furthermore, the Food and Drugs (Composition and Labelling) Regulations (Cap 132W) require that for all prepackaged food for sale in Hong Kong containing sulphite in a concentration of 10 parts per million or more, the functional class of the sulphite and its name shall be specified in the list of ingredients. Offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $50,000 and six months' imprisonment upon conviction.
The CFS will alert the trade, continue to follow up on the incident and take appropriate action. Investigation is ongoing.
Reposted from HKSAR Government webpage: