The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) announced today (June 10) that two samples of Taiwan-style drinks taken at two local drinks shops were found to contain a plasticiser di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP).
The Centre instructed the two shops to immediately stop sale of those drinks. It is tracing the suppliers of the ingredients of the drinks and will collect samples for testing. The Centre will also instruct the suppliers to suspend the supply of the affected products.
A spokesman for the CFS said, "One sample of 'green apple green tea' taken at a Taiwan-style drinks shop, 'Fan Chum Mei' (translation), by the CFS earlier was found to contain DEHP at a level of 6.8 ppm.
"The other 'icy mango drink' sample collected at 'Ice King' was detected with DEHP at a level of 24 ppm."
The "icy mango drink" sample was taken when the CFS was following up on a notification from the Taiwanese authority earlier that consignments of some fruit juice suspected to be plasticiser-tainted had been distributed to Hong Kong. It was collected from the shop concerned upon enquiries with the local importer about product distribution records.
The "green apple green tea" sample was collected during CFS' surveillance checks on related products at retail outlets.
"Dietary exposure estimation revealed that the exposure to DEHP from daily consumption of the 'icy mango drink' and the 'green apple green tea' samples respectively by both average and high consumers would exceed the safety reference value, i.e. the Tolerable Daily Intake of 0.025mg/kg of body weight under the World Health Organization Guidelines, which may pose a risk to human health," the spokesman said.
He said that 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.
Meanwhile, the CFS today received a notification from the Taiwanese authority that consignments of six kinds of food products with nutrition claims which are suspected to be contaminated with DEHP (at Annex) had been distributed to Hong Kong.
The CFS at once contacted and instructed the importer, Natural Beauty Bio-technology (Hong Kong) Co, Ltd, to stop sale of the affected products. Members of the public are urged not to consume those products for the time being.
It is learnt that the importer sold the products only at its outlet in Central, "Natural Beauty Mix", which folded in September last year. Since then, the importer has not sold any of those products in Hong Kong.
The CFS also instructed the importer to recall the products as listed at the Annex. For enquiries about the recall, members of the public please call the company (tel: 2368 3755) from Monday to Friday between 9.30am and 6pm. The CFS will continue to investigate the case and closely monitor the follow-up action taken by the importer.
The spokesman said, "Once again, the CFS urged the trade to initiate suspension of the sale of any food or drink that might be affected by the plasticiser contamination incident. 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.
"Staff of the CFS will continue to make inspections at retail outlets, and collect samples of the five categories of food products from Taiwan that are possibly contaminated with the plasticiser for testing. Samples of other popular food products similar in nature will also be collected for testing.
"If any food product is found to be tainted with the plasticiser, the CFS will make an order as soon as possible to prohibit the import and supply of the product concerned under existing legislation, and to direct that any affected food product be recalled and disposed of."
He added, "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."
The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) announced today (June 10) that two samples of Taiwan-style drinks taken at two local drinks shops were found to contain a plasticiser di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP). Photo shows the sample of "green apple green tea" taken at 'Fan Chum Mei' (translation) which was found to contain DEHP at a level of 6.8 ppm.
The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) announced today (June 10) that two samples of Taiwan-style drinks taken at two local drinks shops were found to contain a plasticiser di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP). Photo shows the sample of "icy mango drink" taken at "Ice King" which was found to contain DEHP at a level of 24 ppm.
Ends/Friday, June 10, 2011
Issued at HKT 22:40