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Results of targeted surveillance project on cooking oil all satisfactory

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) today (February 1) announced results of a targeted surveillance project on cooking oil. All 102 samples of cooking oil passed the tests.

Subsequent to the targeted surveillance project on used cooking oil last year, the CFS embarked on another targeted surveillance project on cooking oil upon identifying three oil samples of the same brand and same batch with Benzo(a)pyrene (B(a)P) at levels above the Guobiao limit (national standard) in December last year. Samples were taken from different levels of the food supply chain, including importers, manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers and restaurants, for testing of B(a)P, aflatoxin and metallic contaminants.

A spokesman for the CFS noted that according to the test results, all samples were free from metallic contaminants.

Regarding B(a)P, 79 out of the 102 samples were detected as containing the substance at levels between 0.1 and 8.8 micrograms per kilogram, all below the action level of 10mcg per kg established by the CFS after consulting the Expert Committee on Food Safety.

As for aflatoxin, seven samples tested positive but all at levels below the legal limits with results ranging from 1.1mcg to 5.8mcg per kg. The legal limit for peanut and its products is 20mcg per kg, and that for other food products is 15mcg per kg.

"Although all the test results were satisfactory, the CFS will continue to keep a close watch on the safety of cooking oil in Hong Kong and include B(a)P testing in the routine surveillance of cooking oil in order to strengthen monitoring and ensure the cooking oil on sale in the market is safe and fit for human consumption," the spokesman said.

Ends/Friday, February 1, 2013
Issued at HKT 14:31

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Last revision date: 01-02-2013