Food Safety Focus (130th Issue, May 2017) – Food Incident Highlight
Malachite Green in Fish
From time to time, the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) found some fish and fish products containing traces of malachite green, which is not allowed in food under the Harmful Substances in Food Regulations (Cap. 132AF).
Malachite green is an industrial dye. It has also been used in aquaculture for the treatment of parasitic, fungal and protozoan diseases in fish. Malachite green is possibly both genotoxic and carcinogenic. In view of that no safe level of residues of malachite green or its metabolites in food that represents an acceptable risk to consumers, Codex stated that competent authorities should prevent residues of malachite green in food by not using malachite green in food producing animals.
The trade shall ensure that the foods they sell are fit for human consumption and comply with local legislations. Offenders will be prosecuted and will be liable to a fine of $50,000 and to imprisonment for six months upon conviction. The CFS has informed the vendor concerned of the irregularity, will continue to follow up on the incident, and will consider taking prosecution action should there be sufficient evidence.