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Food Safety Focus (28th Issue, November 2008) – Food Incident Highlight

Melamine Contamination in Eggs

       Since the publication of the Incident in Focus article in the last issue, the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) has expanded the sampling plan for melamine analysis on the recommendation of the Expert Group on Melamine Incident. Other than milk and processed food with milk-based ingredients, the plan for second phase included food raw materials (e.g, eggs), meat and vegetables.

       On 16 November 2008 , CFS has finished the second phase of testing. Of the 263 eggs sampled, 260 (98.9%) were satisfactory. Among the eggs sampled, 139 samples were produced in the Mainland. As regards the failed Mainland samples, it was believed that melamine entered the eggs after the hens had consumed contaminated feed. CFS has also entered into the third phase of testing since 17 November. Food samples found unsatisfactory in the previous phases will be re-tested.

       As the level of melamine in unsatisfactory egg samples is quite low, there is no need for undue concern. The Food and Health Bureau and the CFS would maintain close contact with the Mainland authorities in an attempt to reduce the risk at the source.

Number of Eggs, Chicken, Meat and Fish Samples Analysed for Melamine
(as of 16 November 2008 )

Food Category

No. of Samples Analysed

No. of Satisfactory Samples (%)



260 (98.9 %)

Chicken and chicken products


93 (100 %)

Meat (pork / beef / other meat) and meat products


90 (100 %)

Fish and fish products


172 (100 %)



30 (100 %)


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Last Revision Date :21-11-2008