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Two prepackaged food samples not in compliance with nutrition label rules

     The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (March 1) announced that the nutrient contents of two prepackaged food samples, namely a smoked oyster sample and a cheese sample, were found to be inconsistent with the declared values on their nutrition labels. The CFS urged the trade to stop selling the affected batches of the products immediately.

     Product details are as follows:

(1) Product name: Smoked Oysters in Olive Oil
Place of origin: Korea
Manufacturer/packer: Daeil Fisheries Company Limited
Hong Kong sole agent: Network Foods (Hong Kong) Limited
Net weight: 85 grams per box
Best-before date: March 18, 2018

(2) Product name: HORIZON ORGANIC - organic AMERICAN SINGLES
Place of origin: US
Distributor: The Dairy Farm Company Limited
Packing: 12 slices per pack
Net weight: 8 ounces/227g
Use-by date: April 9, 2016

     "The CFS collected the above-mentioned smoked oysters sample from a supermarket in Tseung Kwan O for testing under its regular Food Surveillance Programme. The result of chemical analysis showed a discrepancy between its actual total fat content (30.3g per 100g) and the declared content on its nutrition label (7g per 85g, i.e. 8.24g per 100g). As for the cheese sample, the CFS earlier announced that the protein content of a sample of the above-mentioned cheese taken from a supermarket in Causeway Bay was found to be inconsistent with its declared value, and collected another cheese sample of the same kind but of a different batch from the same supermarket for testing during follow-up investigations. The test result showed the same irregularity, a discrepancy between the actual protein content (18.5g per 100g) and the declared content on its nutrition label (9g per slice (19g), i.e. 47.37g per 100g)," a spokesman for the CFS said.

     According to the CFS' Technical Guidance Notes on Nutrition Labelling and Nutrition Claims, the tolerance limits for contents of total fat and protein are set at the levels of not more than 120 per cent and not less than 80 per cent of the labelled values respectively.

     "The CFS has informed the vendors concerned of the irregularities. The vendors concerned have removed from shelves and stopped sale of the affected batches of the products according to the instructions of the CFS. Prosecution will be instituted should there be sufficient evidence. The CFS has also followed up with the Hong Kong sole agent and distributor of the products concerned to trace the distribution of the affected products," he added.

     According to Section 61 of the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Cap 132), if any person falsely describes a food or misleads as to the nature, substance or quality of the food on a label of the food sold by him, he shall be guilty of an offence and be liable to a maximum fine of $50,000 and six months' imprisonment upon conviction.

  The CFS will inform the trade, continue to follow up on the cases and take appropriate action.

Ends/Tuesday, March 1, 2016

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Last revision date: 01-03-2016