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HK to prohibit import of fruit syrup/juice made by two manufacturers in Taiwan and stop sale of a mango drink (With Photos)

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) announced today (June 9) that it would prohibit from noon tomorrow (June 10) the import and supply of all batches of fruit syrup of all flavours produced by a manufacturer in Taiwan, Jin Zhuan Lifesciences Enterprise Co, Ltd.

The CFS also ordered the trade (importer/distributor/retailer) to complete recall of the related products available in the market according to the specified manner within 30 days from noon tomorrow.

The drinks concerned, if accompanied by a certificate issued by the relevant Taiwanese authority stating that the levels of plasticiser di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) do not exceed 1.5 parts per million (ppm) will be exempted.

"The CFS was notified by the Taiwanese authority in early June that some food and drinks produced in Taiwan, including the aforesaid drinks, may be contaminated with a plasticiser. The CFS has taken immediate follow-up actions, including collecting samples of related food and drinks for testing," a CFS spokesman said.

The CFS released the test results of a batch of drinks samples today. Among them, seven samples of different flavours of fruit syrup were found to contain DEHP, at levels ranging from 6 ppm to 230 ppm, exceeding the action level of 1.5 ppm adopted by the CFS. All of the syrup concerned, of peach, blueberry, guava, lychee, green apple, passion fruit and grapefruit flavours, were produced by Jin Zhuan Lifesciences Enterprise Co, Ltd.

Furthermore, the Centre has detected DEHP in a sample of Peach Concentrated Juice at a level of 77 ppm. The import into and supply of this product within Hong Kong will also be prohibited. The trade (importer/distributor/retailer) will be ordered to complete recall of the product available in the market according to the specified manner within 30 days from noon tomorrow. Details of the product are as follows:

Product name: Peach Concentrated Juice
Manufacturer: Jin Ji Wang Food Co, Ltd
Place of origin: Taiwan
Count/Weight/Volume: All count/weight/volume
Batch No.: All batches

The CFS carried out dietary exposure estimation on the above samples of syrup and drinks, which revealed that:

Green Apple Syrup sample and Passion Fruit Syrup sample (with DEHP levels at 28 ppm and 43 ppm respectively, diluted at a ratio of 1:6)
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Daily consumption by high consumers (daily consumption of about 400 ml of the diluted drink) would exceed the safety reference value, i.e. the Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI) of 0.025 mg/kg of body weight under the World Health Organization (WHO) Guidelines for drinking-water quality, which may pose a risk to human health.

Peach Concentrated Juice sample (with DEHP level at 77 ppm, diluted at a ratio of 1:6)
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Daily consumption by average consumers (daily consumption of about 190 ml of the diluted drink) and high consumers (daily consumption of about 400 ml of the diluted drink) would exceed the safety reference value, i.e. the TDI of 0.025 mg/kg of body weight under the WHO Guidelines for drinking-water quality (also exceeded the TDI of 0.05 mg/kg of body weight established by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) regarding high consumers), which may pose a risk to human health.

Grapefruit Syrup sample (with DEHP level at 230 ppm, diluted at a ratio of 1:6)
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Daily consumption by average consumers (daily consumption of about 190 ml of the diluted drink) and high consumers (daily consumption of about 400 ml of the diluted drink) would exceed the safety reference value, i.e. the TDI of 0.025 mg/kg of body weight under the WHO Guidelines for drinking-water quality (also exceeded the TDI of 0.05 mg/kg of body weight established by the EFSA for both average and high consumers), which may pose a risk to human health.

The spokesman said, "The acute oral toxicity of DEHP is low. As for chronic toxicity, DEHP was found to affect the liver and kidney as well as the reproduction and development of experimental animals. The International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded that DEHP is possibly carcinogenic to humans."

The Director of Food and Environmental Hygiene is empowered to make an order to prohibit the import and supply of any food under Section 78B of the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Cap 132), and to direct that any food supplied be recalled.

In addition, a sample of mango drink taken at a Taiwanese drinks shop "Share Cup" by the CFS earlier was found to contain DEHP at a level of 36 ppm. The Centre has immediately instructed the company to stop sale of the affected product. It is tracing a supplier of the ingredients of the drinks concerned and will collect samples for testing. The Centre will also instruct the supplier to suspend the supply of the affected product.

"The CFS has notified the trade of this new arrangement and urged them to take the initiative to suspend the sale of any food or drink that might be affected. We shall issue food alerts to the trade to keep them abreast of the latest information released by the Taiwanese authority as soon as possible," the spokesman said.

"Test results will be uploaded to the CFS website (www.cfs.gov.hk). The CFS will continue to liaise with the Taiwanese authority on the plasticiser contamination incident, closely monitor the situation and take appropriate follow-up actions," he added.


The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) announced today (June 9) the test results of samples of drinks produced in Taiwan. Photo shows a bottle of grapefruit syrup manufactured by Jin Zhuan Lifesciences Enterprise Co, Ltd. A sample of the syrup was found to contain di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) at a level of 230 ppm.


The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) announced today (June 9) the test results of samples of drinks produced in Taiwan. Photo shows a bottle of peach concentrated juice manufactured by Jin Ji Wang Food Co, Ltd. A sample of the syrup was found to contain di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) at a level of 77 ppm.


The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) announced today (June 9) the test results of samples of drinks produced in Taiwan. Photo shows a bottle of passion fruit syrup manufactured by Jin Zhuan Lifesciences Enterprise Co, Ltd. A sample of the syrup was found to contain di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) at a level of 43 ppm.

Ends/Thursday, June 9, 2011
Issued at HKT 23:21

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Last revision date:09-06-2011