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Part V and Part VA of the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Cap. 132)

Section 50 Offences in connection with preparation and sale of adulterated food
50(1) No person shall add any substance to food, use any substance as an ingredient in the preparation of food, abstract any constituent from food, or subject food to any other process or treatment, so as (in any such case) to render the food injurious to health, with intent that the food shall be sold for human consumption in that state.
50(3) Subject to the provisions of this section, no person shall-
 
(a) sell for human consumption, offer, expose or advertise for sale for human consumption, or have in his possession for the purpose of such sale, any food rendered injurious to health by any operation described in subsection (1).

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Section 51

Adulteration, etc. of milk


51(1) No person shall add any water or colouring matter, or any dried or condensed milk or liquid reconstituted therefrom, to milk intended for sale for human consumption.
51(2) No person shall add any separated milk, or mixture of cream and separated milk, to unseparated milk intended for sale for human consumption.
51(3)

No person shall sell or offer or expose for sale, or have in his possession for the purpose of sale, for human consumption any milk to which any addition has been made in contravention of the provisions of subsection (1) or (2).

51(4) No person shall sell, offer or expose for sale, or advertise, under the designation of milk any liquid in the making of which any separated milk, or any dried or condensed milk, has been used.

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Section 51A

Adulteration of meat


51A(1)

No person shall, by injection or any other means, introduce or cause the introduction of any water or other liquid into the tissues of the carcass, meat or offal of any animal, bird or reptile sold for human consumption or offered, exposed or intended for sale for human consumption.

51A(2) No person shall sell for human consumption or offer or expose for sale or have in his possession for the purpose of sale for human consumption, any carcass, meat or offal of any animal, bird or reptile into the tissue of which there has been introduced by injection or any other means anything specified in subsection (1).
51A(3) No person shall have in his possession whilst on, or bring onto or permit to be brought onto, any premises in which any carcass, meat or offal of any animal, bird or reptile intended for human consumption is kept or stored or is sold or is offered or exposed for sale, any instrument designed or adapted for the introduction into the tissues of the carcass, meat or offal of any animal, bird or reptile of anything specified in subsection (1).
51A(4) Any person who contravenes any of the provisions of subsection (1), (2) or (3) shall be guilty of an offence.
51A(5) Where-
 
(a) any offence is committed under subsection (4); or
(b) any instrument specified in subsection (3) is found,
on any premises on which there is carried on any business in the course of which the carcass, meat or offal of any animal, bird or reptile intended for human consumption is kept or stored or is sold or is offered or exposed for sale, then, in addition to any other person who may be guilty of an offence under subsection (4), and whether or not any other person is convicted for such offence, the person who carries on such business and the manager of the business shall each be guilty of an offence whether or not the persons last mentioned were aware of the commission of an offence under subsection (4) or of the presence of any instrument specified in subsection (3) on those premises.

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Section 52

General protection for purchasers of food and drugs


52(1) If any person sells to the prejudice of a purchaser any food or drug which is not of the nature, or not of the substance, or not of the quality, of the food or drug demanded by the purchaser, he shall, subject to the provisions of section 53, be guilty of an offence.

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Section 54 Offences in connection with the sale, etc. of unfit food or drugs

54(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, any person who-
 
(a) sells or offers or exposes for sale, or has in his possession for the purpose of sale or preparation for sale; or
(b) deposits with, or consigns to, any person for the purpose of sale or of preparation for sale,
any food intended for, but unfit for, human consumption, or any drug intended for use by man but unfit for that purpose, shall be guilty of an offence.
54(2) Subject as aforesaid, where any food or drug in respect of which an offence under subsection (1)(a) has been committed was sold to the offender by some other person, that person also shall be guilty of an offence.

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Section 55

Regulations as to composition of food


55(1) The appropriate authority may, so far as appears to him to be necessary or expedient in the interests of the public health, or otherwise for the protection of the public, make regulations for any of the following purposes-
 
(a) for requiring, prohibiting or regulating the addition or extraction of any specified substance, or any substance of any specified class, to food intended for sale for human consumption or to any drug intended for sale for use by man or any class of such food or drug, or the use of any substance as an ingredient in the preparation or preservation of any such food or drug, and generally, for regulating or prescribing the composition of such food or drug or the bacteriological or chemical standard thereof;
(b) (Repealed 80 of 1997 s. 2)
(c) for prohibiting, restricting or regulating the importation or the use of any specified materials, or of materials of any specified class, in the manufacture of apparatus or utensils designed for use in the preparation or preservation of food for human consumption or drugs for use by man and the sale or importation for sale of apparatus or utensils designed for such use and containing any specified materials, or materials of any specified class;
(d) for imposing requirements as to, and otherwise regulating, the labelling, marking or advertising of food intended for sale for human consumption or drugs intended for sale for use by man, and the descriptions which may be applied to such food or drugs;
(e) for prescribing or providing for methods of analysis for the purpose of ascertaining the presence in, or absence from, any food or drug of any specified substance, or the quantity of any such substance which is present in any food or drug.
(f) (Repealed 80 of 1997 s. 2)
55(1A) The appropriate authority may, so far as appears to him to be necessary or expedient in the interests of public health, or otherwise for the protection of the public, make regulations for prohibiting, restricting or regulating the importation or manufacture, or the sale, possession for sale, offer or exposure for sale, or consignment or delivery of-
 
(a) food or drugs or ingredients of food or drugs which do not comply with regulations made under subsection (1)(a), or in relation to which an offence under such regulations has been committed or would have been committed if any relevant act or omission had taken place in Hong Kong; or
(b) any food or drugs (including food or drugs referred to in paragraph (a)) which, in his opinion, are or may be prejudicial to the public health.
55(1B) The appropriate authority may make regulations for fees to be paid in respect of any analysis or bacteriological or other examination of food or drugs by a public analyst.
55(2) In the exercise of his functions under subsection (1) in relation to the composition of food, the appropriate authority shall have regard to the desirability of restricting, so far as practicable, the use of substances of no nutritional value as foods.
55(3) Regulations made under subsection (1A) or (1B) may provide in respect of any provision thereof that the appropriate authority may amend that provision by notice in the Gazette.
55(4) Regulations made under subsection (1A) may-
 
(a) empower a health officer to-
 
(i) permit the importation subject to such conditions as he may specify of such food as may be prescribed;
(ii) require any imported food as may be prescribed to be submitted or made available for inspection by a health inspector;
(iii) impose any conditions or issue any directions with regard to such imported food as may appear to him desirable for the purpose of ensuring that such food is sound, wholesome or fit for human consumption; and
(b) prohibit the contravention of or non-compliance with any condition, requirement or direction referred to in paragraph (a).
55(5)

In this section any reference to "appropriate authority" is to be construed according to subsection (6).

55(6) The appropriate authority for the purposes of-
 
(a) subsection (1), in relation to-
 
(i) food, is the Director of Food and Environmental Hygiene; and
(ii) drugs, is the Director of Health;
(b) subsections (1A) and (1B), in relation to-
 
(i) food, is the Secretary for Food and Health; and
(ii) drugs, is the Secretary for Food and Health;
(c) subsection (2), is the Director of Food and Environmental Hygiene; and
(d) subsection (3), in relation to-
 
(i) regulations made by the Secretary for Food and Health, is the Director of Food and Environmental Hygiene; and
(ii) regulations made by the Secretary for Food and Health, is the Director of Health.

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Section 56 Regulations as to food and drugs hygiene

56(1) Without prejudice to the provisions of section 55, the Authority may make regulations for securing the observance of sanitary and cleanly conditions and practices and wholesome methods in connection with-
 
(a) the sale of food for human consumption or drugs for use by man;
(b) the manufacture, preparation, transport, storage, packaging; marking, exposure for sale, service or delivery of food intended for sale or sold for human consumption and drugs intended for sale or sold for use by man, and ice, or otherwise for the protection of the public health in connection with any such matters.
56(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the provisions of subsection (1), regulations made under this section may make provision-
 
(a) for prohibiting, restricting or regulating the sale, or storage, possession or exposure for sale, of any specified food or drug, either generally or in any specified district, area or place or by any specified person or class of persons;
(b) for imposing requirements as to the construction, layout, drainage, equipment, maintenance, cleanliness, ventilation and extraction of fumes or heat, lighting, water-supply and use of premises in, at or from which food for human consumption or drugs for use by man are sold or offered, exposed, stored, prepared or manufactured for sale (including any parts of such premises in which apparatus and utensils are cleansed or in which waste is disposed of or stored);
(ba) for imposing requirements as to the precautions to be taken against fire in any such premises;
(c) for imposing requirements as to the provision, maintenance and cleanliness of sanitary and washing facilities in connection with such premises, the disposal of waste and the maintenance and cleanliness of apparatus, equipment, furnishings and utensils used in such premises, and in particular for imposing requirements that every sanitary convenience situated in such premises shall be supplied with water through a suitable flushing appliance;
(d) for prohibiting or restricting spitting on premises where food for human consumption or drugs for use by man are sold, or offered, exposed, stored, prepared or manufactured for sale (including any parts of such premises in which apparatus and utensils are cleansed);
(e) for imposing requirements as to the clothing to be worn by persons engaged to work in such premises;
(f) for requiring the medical examination of persons engaged in any such premises or class of premises (including any parts of such premises in which apparatus and utensils are cleansed), the immunization of such persons against any specified diseases and the prohibition of the employment of any such person found to be suffering from any specified disease;
(g) for requiring the marking, staining or treating of meat intended for human consumption;
(h) for regulating generally the treatment and disposal of any food which is unfit for human consumption or any drug which is unfit for use by man or any food or drug which does not comply with any of the provisions of any regulation made under section 55 relating to the composition or standard of quality of food and drugs;
(i) for prohibiting or regulating the sale for human consumption, or the possession, offer, exposure, distribution or collection for sale for human consumption, of shellfish.
56(3) Regulations made under this section may require or provide for the registration or licensing of premises, businesses or persons engaged in or connected with any of the matters specified in subsection (1)(a) or (b).
56(3A) Regulations made under this section containing provisions-
 
(a) requiring the registration or licensing of premises, businesses or persons; or
(b) restricting the sale, possession or use of specified foods,
may empower a specified public officer, by notice in the Gazette, to grant exemptions from such provisions or any of them.
56(4) Regulations made under this section may make different provisions in relation to different classes of business, and, without prejudice to any other provisions of this section, any such regulations imposing requirements in respect of premises may impose on the occupier of the premises to which such regulations apply responsibility for compliance with those regulations.
56(5) The Authority may from time to time take such steps as it may think fit for publishing codes of practice in connection with matters which may be made the subject of regulations under this section, for the purpose of giving advice and guidance to persons responsible for compliance with such regulations.
56(6) A failure on the part of any person to observe any provisions of a code published under subsection (5) shall not of itself render that person liable to criminal proceedings of any kind but any such failure may, in any proceedings whether civil or criminal and including proceedings for an offence under this Ordinance, be relied upon by any party to the proceedings as tending to establish or to negative any liability which is in question in those proceedings.
56(7) In this section and sections 56A and 56B, "premises" (處所) includes a stall or vessel and in relation to a vessel, "occupier" (佔用人) means the master.

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Section 59

Examination and seizure and marking or destruction of food or drugs


59(1) Any public officer authorized in writing in that behalf by the Authority may-
 
(a) examine any food which is, or which appears to him to be, intended for human consumption, or any drug which is, or which appears to him to be, intended for use by man; and
(b) seize and remove such food or drug or any package in which the same was contained if it appears to him that such food or drug is unfit for human consumption or for use by man, as the case may be, or that any of the provisions of any regulation made under section 55 or 56 have been contravened in respect thereof; and
(c) where he is of the opinion that a special procedure is necessary for the examination of any such food which has been imported, or where at the request of the importer he has recourse to such special procedure, direct the importer or any other person in possession of the food to provide all such facilities as may be required for the examination of the food.
59(1A) Any person who fails to provide facilities for the examination of imported food in accordance with subsection (1)(c), after having been duly directed to do so by a public officer authorized in writing in that behalf by the Authority, shall be guilty of an offence. (Added 29 of 1976 s. 3)
59(2) If it appears to any public officer authorized in writing in that behalf by the Authority that any food or drug, whether seized under the provisions of subsection (1) or not, is unfit for human consumption or for use by man, respectively, or that any of the provisions of any regulations made under section 55 or 56 have been contravened in respect of any such food or drug, he may-
 
(a) affix to such food or drug a mark, seal or other designation; or
(b) destroy or otherwise dispose of such food or drug or cause the same to be destroyed or otherwise disposed of.
59(3) If any person sells, offers or exposes for sale, or deposits or consigns to any person for the purpose of sale or preparation for sale, or otherwise uses, any food or drug contrary to the purport of any mark, seal or other designation affixed thereto under the provisions of subsection (2), or removes, alters or obliterates any such mark, seal or designation with intent to deceive any person, he shall be guilty of an offence.
59(4) Before any food or drug is destroyed or otherwise disposed of under the provisions of subsection (2), there shall be recorded a description and such other details as will suffice to identify such food or drug, and the Authority shall keep such record in its custody for a period of not less than 12 months.
59(5) If any person considers himself aggrieved by the seizure and removal, or by the marking, sealing or otherwise designating, or by the destruction or other disposal, of any food or drug under the provisions of subsection (1) or (2) he may, within 72 hours after the doing of such act, complain to the court and the court may confirm or disallow the act, either wholly or in part, and shall, in the case of any act disallowed, or disallowed in part, order the removal of such mark, seal or other designation or the restoration of the food or drug seized and removed, either as to the whole or as to such part in respect of which the act was disallowed, or, if the food or drug in question, or any part thereof, has been destroyed or otherwise disposed of, or is no longer fit for human consumption or for use by man, as the case may be, or is depreciated in value at the time of making such order by reason of such act, order the Authority, to pay by way of compensation such sum of money, not exceeding the market value of such food or drug at the time of the doing of such act, as the court may, having regard to the circumstances of the case, consider just.
59(6) In the case of any conviction for an offence under section 54(1) or (2) or for an offence under any of the provisions of any regulation made under section 55, the court may order that any food or drug to which the conviction relates and any similar food or drug found on the defendant's premises or in his possession at the time of the commission of the offence or of the seizure of the food or drug in question, shall be forfeited, together with all packages containing the same.
59(7) Any food or drug, and any package containing the same, forfeited under the provisions of subsection (6) shall be disposed of in such manner as the Authority may direct.

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Section 61 False labelling and advertisement of food or drugs

61(1) If any person gives with any food or drug sold by him, or displays with any food or drug exposed for sale by him, a label, whether or not the same is attached to or printed on the wrapper or container, which-
 
(a) falsely describes the food or drug; or
(b) is calculated to mislead as to its nature, substance or quality,
he shall be guilty of an offence, unless he proves that he did not know, and could not with reasonable diligence have ascertained, that the label was of such a character as aforesaid.

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Section 62

Power to take samples


62(1) Any public officer authorized in writing in that behalf by the Authority may take samples for analysis, or for bacteriological or other examination, of any food or drug, or of any substance capable of being used in the preparation of any food or drug, which appears to him to be intended for sale or to have been sold for human consumption or for use by man, as the case may be, or which is found by him on or in any premises, stall, vehicle, vessel, aircraft or place which he is authorized to enter for the purposes of this Ordinance:
  Provided that-
 
(a) such officer shall pay or tender payment of the market price of any such samples, or, if the market price be unknown or not readily ascertainable, a reasonable price, to the person appearing to have the lawful custody of such food, drug or substance; and
(b) where any such food, drug or substance is kept for retail sale in unopened packages, no such sample shall consist of less than the whole of the contents of any one such package.
62(2) When taking any sample under this section, such officer shall take such steps as may be necessary to satisfy himself that the sample taken is a fair sample of the bulk of the food, drug or other substance in question.
62(3) Nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing any purchase or sale of drugs in contravention of the provisions of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance (Cap 134).
62(4) Any person who fails to comply with any demand or requisition made under the provisions of this section shall be guilty of an offence.

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Section 68

Power to examine food and drugs in course of transit, etc.


68(1) Subject to the provisions of subsection (2), any public officer authorized under the provisions of section 59(1), who has reason to suspect that any vehicle, vessel or container contains any food which is intended for human consumption or any drug which is intended for use by man or any food or drug which is in the course of delivery after sale for human consumption or for use by man may examine the contents of such vehicle, vessel or container and may for that purpose, if necessary, detain the vehicle, vessel or container, and, in the case of a vehicle or vessel in motion, may call upon such vehicle or vessel to stop.
68(2) Nothing in this section shall authorize the detention of any vehicle, vessel or container used by a carrier of goods for the purposes of his trade as such a carrier.
68(3) Any person, being a person in charge of a vehicle or vessel which is called upon a stop under the provisions of subsection (1), who fails to stop when so called upon shall be guilty of an offence.

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Section 69 Restriction on movement of imported food or drugs

69(1) Without prejudice to any power of examining food or drugs conferred by this Part, the Authority or any public officer authorized in writing in that behalf by the Authority may give directions to the person in possession of any food or drug imported with a view to sale for human consumption or for use by man, as the case may be, prohibiting or restricting its removal or delivery-
 
(a) during any period, not exceeding 6 days (exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays), which may be reasonably required for the examination of such food or drugs; and
(b) if within that period the Authority or the officer so requires, until that person has notified the Authority or the officer of the name of the person to whom, and the address to or at which, he proposes to send or deliver such food or drug.
69(2) A person who fails to comply with any direction given under the provisions of subsection (1), or who, in a notification thereunder, knowingly makes any false statement, shall be guilty of an offence.

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Section 78B   (Repealed 5 of 2011 s.68)

 

Note : Please browse http://www.legislation.gov.hk/blis_export.nsf/home.htm for details of the food law in Chapter 132.

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2007 copyright logo | Important notices Last Revision Date : 27-09-2012