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Test results of hairy crabs satisfactory

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) today (October 29) announced that the test results of 115 samples of hairy crabs recently collected at import, wholesale and retail levels for chemical and microbiological tests in a seasonal food surveillance project were all found to be satisfactory.

The chemical tests included veterinary drug residues (including chloramphenicol, sulphonamides, tetracycline, nitrofurans and malachite green), metallic contamination (such as mercury, lead and arsenic), synthetic hormones, colouring matters (such as Sudan dyes) and oxalic acid, while the microbiological tests covered parasites.

"Despite the satisfactory results, people should be careful when purchasing and savouring this seasonal delicacy. Traders should import hairy crabs with health certificates and source from reliable suppliers. Hairy crabs for sale must be kept in a refrigerator," a CFS spokesman said.

He also advised people to observe the "Five Keys to Food Safety" in purchasing, storing, preparing and cooking hairy crabs to prevent food-borne illnesses.

The "Five Keys to Food Safety" for consumers are:

* Buy hairy crabs from reliable and hygienic shops or restaurants; and
* Buy hairy crabs with intact, shiny shells without a foul smell.

Keep clean
* Brush and wash the crab shells and claws before cooking; and
* Wash hands with soapy water before consumption.

Separate raw and cooked food
* Put the crabs in a container with cover and store them separately from other foods in the refrigerator to avoid cross-contamination.

Cook thoroughly
* Cook thoroughly and remove internal organs completely before consumption; and
* Avoid eating raw crabs. Condiments such as salt, vinegar, wine and wasabi cannot kill bacteria or parasites that may be present.

Safe temperature
* Cooked hairy crabs should be consumed as soon as possible and never keep them at room temperature for more than two hours.

"People should maintain a balanced diet and avoid eating too many hairy crabs, particularly the cholesterol-rich roe. Patients with chronic illnesses should eat hairy crabs in moderation," the spokesman added.

The public may browse the CFS website ( for information on more food safety tips.

Ends/Friday, October 29, 2010
Issued at HKT 15:35

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Last revision date:29-10-2010