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Latest developments of CFS' investigations into the incident of "substandard lard" from Taiwan

The Centre for Food and Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (September 7) provided another update on the latest developments of its investigations into the incident of "substandard lard" from Taiwan.

A CFS spokesman said that, during investigations into Urban Food Limited which supplied lard to the Maxim's Cakes, the CFS confirmed that the product involved was CG Fragrant Lard Oil, produced by the Chang Guann Co., Ltd and identified as contaminated by the Taiwanese authorities. So far, this is the first time that one of two substandard lard oil products identified by the Taiwanese authorities was located. The other product, known as Ho Chiang Fragrant Lard Oil, has not yet been detected in Hong Kong. Urban Food Limited had initiated a recall of the affected product. Apart from supervising the recall conducted by the company, the CFS has also taken oil samples for testing as well as marked and sealed its inventory.

CFS' investigation also revealed that three other importing companies, including Dah Chong Hong Limited, Synergy Foods Limited and Angliss Hong Kong Food Service Limited, had bought other kinds of lard products produced by the Chang Guann Co., Ltd. Although the kinds of lard imported by them were not the two kinds of affected products identified by the Taiwanese authorities and Synergy Foods Limited had no stock of the product concerned, the CFS, taking into account of the fact that investigation by the Taiwanese authorities is still ongoing and for prudence's sake, has taken oil samples from the warehouses of the other two companies for testing as well as marked and sealed their inventories. The CFS had also instructed the three companies to approach downstream clients to prevent use of the oil products and arrange a product recall.

Until noon today, the CFS has taken 46 samples of lard and food products for tests. The levels of metal contaminants and aflatoxins of one mooncake sample tested did not exceed the legal limits while its amount of Benzo[a]pyrene was lower than the action level. Testing of the other samples is in progress.

The CFS noted that the Taiwanese authorities announced information of over a hundred kinds of products which are identified as affected ones on their official website. The CFS urges Hong Kong traders whose business covers importing, distributing or using lard to pay close attention to the announcement of relevant information made by Hong Kong and the Taiwanese authorities, stop using and selling suspicious lard or food as appropriate, and contact the CFS. The CFS will also keep the trade informed of the relevant information as soon as possible.

Furthermore, the CFS will continue to announce the latest developments in a timely manner through press releases and by uploading the information onto its website to facilitate the public in keeping track of the development of the incident. The overall investigation conducted by the CFS is still ongoing.

Ends/Sunday, September 7, 2014

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Last revision date: 07-09-2014