The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department continued investigation into the incident of "substandard lard" from Taiwan. A spokesman for the CFS today (September 12) said that concerning the suspected case of exporting contaminated lard by Globalway Corporation Limited (Globalway) to Taiwan, the CFS had referred the case to the Police for follow-up. Meanwhile, he urged the trade to immediately stop importing, supplying and selling all lard and relevant food products produced on or after March 1 this year by Chang Guann Co., Ltd (Chang Guann) in Taiwan, and to recall, and mark and seal the products. The trade should return any relevant products they may have to the supplier immediately. If in doubt, they should also stop selling the possibly affected oil and food products and contact the CFS to follow up."
The spokesman said, in addition to the substandard lard "CG Fragrant Lard Oil/Ho Chiang Fragrant Lard Oil" already named, the Taiwanese authorities listed another 24 lard products manufactured by Chang Guann as suspectedly contaminated products on September 11(refer to links on the Centre's website). In response to the latest decisions of the Taiwanese authorities, the CFS will seek legal advice to consider invoking powers conferred on the Director of Food and Environmental Hygiene by the Food Safety Ordinance to prohibit importing, supplying and selling the relevant lard and food manufactured with the relevant lard, and order recalling such lard and food and dispose of the food according to the ways instructed by the CFS. Upon completing the relevant procedures, the CFS will announce and gazette the order as soon as possible to further safeguard safety of edible oil in Hong Kong and reduce the possibility of causing hazards to public health.
Furthermore, the CFS found that Globalway had also imported two kinds of Chang Guann lard into Hong Kong in addition to exporting suspectedly contaminated lard to Taiwan when the CFS followed up on investigation of Globalway. The Centre has contacted distributors of Globalway to track the distribution of the affected lard.
The spokesman said, "The CFS received the notification by Taiwanese authorities this afternoon that six companies in Hong Kong had imported the suspectedly contaminated lard, namely, Urban Food Limited, Dah Chong Hong Limited, Synergy Foods Limited, Angliss Hong Kong Food Service Limited, Hop Hing Oil Procurement Limited. and Globalway Corporation Limited, which are completely in line with CFS' investigation in the past week."
While the investigation on Globalway is still going on, the CFS has ordered the other five companies to recall the possibly affected products for the sake of prudence. Apart from supervising the recall conducted by the companies, the CFS has also marked and sealed the remaining stocks.
Beside investigation, the CFS will also enhance surveillance for edible oil imported from other places (including Taiwan) in order to ensure the safety of edible oil at surveillance level.
Members of the public who would like to secure a copy of the list of affected products can pay attention to the relevant information issued by the Hong Kong and Taiwanese authorities.
The CFS will continue to liaise with Taiwanese authorities closely, and 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/Friday, September 12, 2014