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Food Safety Focus (12th Issue, July 2007) – Food Incident Highlight

Sudan Dye in Rice Dumplings

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) recently tested some 80 samples of rice dumplings of which two samples were found to contain traces of non-permitted colouring matter, Sudan IV, at 0.12 and 0.046 parts per million, respectively. The CFS considered that normal consumption of the affected products was unlikely to have any adverse health effects on consumers.

The abuse of Sudan dyes in food raised territory-wide concerns in late 2006 as the non-permitted colouring matter was detected in some duck and hen egg samples. In December 2006, the CFS launched a voluntary enrolment scheme for egg importation. The Mainland authorities subsequently began to issue health certificates for eggs and egg products exporting to Hong Kong to ensure that they are free from Sudan dyes. Meanwhile, the CFS continued monitoring the illegal use of Sudan dyes in food under the Food Surveillance Programme.

Food manufacturers are advised to procure food ingredients from reliable suppliers and comply with legal requirements when using food additives.

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