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HK to prohibit import of a sports drink from Taiwan and stop sale of certain kinds of cookies and instant noodle (with photos)

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) announced today (June 13) that it would prohibit from noon tomorrow (June 14) the import and supply of the following drink:

Brand Name & Food Name: DrinkaZine Energy Watt Sports Drink
Manufacturer: Tai Hwa Oil Industrial Co, Ltd
Place of Origin: Taiwan
Count/Weight/Volume: All count/weight/volume
Batch No.: All batches

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

The drink concerned, if accompanied by a certificate issued by the relevant Taiwanese authority stating that the levels of plasticiser Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) do not exceed 0.3 parts per million (ppm) will be exempted.

A CFS spokesman said that the sports drink sample was collected for testing during CFS' surveillance checks on the five categories of food products (i.e. sports drinks; fruit juice; tea drink; fruit jam/fruit nectar or jelly; and food in tablet, capsule or powder form) produced in Taiwan that were possibly contaminated with plasticisers and on other popular food products similar in nature at local retail outlets.

The test result indicated that the sample contained DBP at a level of 0.97 ppm, exceeding the Specific Migration Limit (i.e. 0.3 ppm) for food contact materials of the European Union, he said.

"Dietary exposure estimation revealed that the exposure to DBP from daily consumption of this sample by high consumers (daily consumption of about 4/5 bottle of 800 ml sports drink) would exceed the safety reference value, i.e. the Tolerable Daily Intake of 0.01 mg/kg of body weight established by the European Food Safety Authority, which may pose a risk to human health.

"The acute oral toxicity of DBP is low. Chronic large-dose exposure to DBP was found to affect the reproduction and development and cause birth defect in experimental animals."

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.

Meanwhile, among the test results of plasticisers in food announced by the CFS today was the detection of eight samples of Chuang's Square Cookies, produced in Taiwan, with Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) and Diisononyl phthalate (DINP). A sesame oil sachet included in a sample of instant noodle, Wei Lih "hand-made noodle" (roasted chicken flavour), was also found to contain DEHP. Details of the products are as follows:

(1) Brand Name & Food Name: Chuang's Square Cookies
Manufacturer: Chuang’s King Tai Chang Food Co, Ltd
Place of Origin: Taiwan

(2) Brand Name & Food Name: Wei Lih "hand-made instant noodle" (roasted chicken flavour)
Manufacturer: Wei Lih Food Industrial Co, Ltd
Place of Origin: Taiwan

The spokesman said, "In all eight samples of square cookies of different flavours and packaging, DEHP was found at levels ranging from 3.7 ppm to 14 ppm, while DINP at levels between 3.6 ppm and 6.3 ppm. As for the sesame oil sachet included in the instant noodle sample, DEHP was detected at a level of 8.7 ppm.

"Although the levels of DEHP found in all eight square cookies samples of different flavours and packaging exceeded the action level of 1.5 ppm adopted by the CFS, the exposure to DEHP from consumption of the concerned samples by average or high consumers, according to dietary exposure estimation, would not exceed the Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI) set by the World Health Organization (WHO) (i.e. 0.025 mg/kg of body weight)."

As to the levels of DINP found in the eight square cookies samples, he said, they did not exceed the Specific Migration Limit for food contact materials of the European Union (set at 9 ppm).

He added, "According to the level of DEHP found in the sesame oil sachet of the instant noodle sample, the exposure to DEHP of an ordinary adult weighing 60 kilogrammes would only exceed the TDI set by WHO if 66 units of the sesame oil sachet samples (2.6 grammes each) are consumed daily."

The spokesman said that even though dietary exposure estimation showed no health concern from consuming the above mentioned products, as a precautionary measure, the CFS had instructed the supplier to stop supplying all batches of the concerned products and to contact the exporter/manufacturer to follow up. Retailers should also take the affected products off shop shelves.

The CFS has notified the trade of this new arrangement and urged them to take the initiative to stop the sale of any food or drink that might be affected. It will 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 conduct checks at retail outlets, and collect samples of the five categories of food products from Taiwan that are possibly contaminated with plasticisers for testing. Samples of other popular food products similar in nature will also be collected for testing.

He 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."

Ends/Monday, June 13, 2011
Issued at HKT 23:30

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) announced today (June 13) the test results of samples of food and drinks produced in Taiwan. Among them, one sample of a sports drink was found to contain plasticiser Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) at a level of 0.97 ppm, exceeding the Specific Migration Limit (i.e. 0.3 ppm) for food contact materials of the European Union. The CFS announced that it would prohibit from noon tomorrow (June 14) import and supply of DrinkaZine Energy Watt Sports Drink, as shown in the photo, in Hong Kong.
 
The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) announced today (June 13) the test results of samples of food and drinks produced in Taiwan. Photo shows eight samples of Chuang's Square Cookies, which were found to contain Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) and Diisononyl phthalate (DINP) at levels ranging from 3.7 ppm to 14 ppm, and from 3.6 ppm to 6.3 ppm respectively.
 
The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) announced today (June 13) the test results of samples of food and drinks produced in Taiwan. Photo shows a sample of instant noodle, Wei Lih "hand-made noodle" (roasted chicken flavour), in which a sesame oil sachet was found to contain Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) at a level of 8.7 ppm.


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Last revision date:13-06-2011