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Excessive cadmium found in imported crab samples

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (October 4) announced that six samples of imported crabs were detected with excessive cadmium, a metallic contaminant. The trade should stop using or selling the affected batches of the products immediately.

"In view of the detection of excessive cadmium in two imported brown crab samples in August last year, the CFS conducted a targeted surveillance on metallic contaminants in crabs recently. A total of 24 crab samples were collected from the local market for testing of antimony, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury and tin. The levels of cadmium detected in six crab samples, collected at import level and retail outlets in Mong Kok, Causeway Bay, Lai Chi Kok and Tsuen Wan respectively, were found to exceed the legal limit of two parts per million (ppm),” a spokesman for the CFS said.

Details of the products are as follows:

(1) Product name: Live Crabs (Cancer Pagurus)
Place of origin: France
Importer: Worldwide Seafood Limited
Cadmium level: 9 ppm

(2) Product name: Frozen Whole Cooked Crab (Cancer pagurus)
Place of origin: Ireland
Brand name: Connemara
Best-before date: September 23, 2017
Retailer: YATA Supermarket, MOKO, Mong Kok
Cadmium level: 3ppm

(3) Product name: Frozen Whole Cooked Crab (Cancer pagurus)
Place of origin: Ireland
Brand name: Connemara
Best-before date: October 20, 2017
Retailer: AEON, Fashion Walk, 9 Kingston Street, Causeway Bay
Cadmium level: 7.8ppm

(4) Product name: Frozen Whole Cooked Brown Crab (cancer pagurus)
Place of origin: United Kingdom
Brand name: Wild Bay
Best-before date: November 30, 2016
Distributor: Sun Wah Marine Products (HK) Co Ltd
Retailer: AEON, 8 Sham Shing Road, Lai Chi Kok
Cadmium level: 3.3ppm

(5) Product name: Cooked Snow Crab
Place of origin: Japan
Use-by date: August 25, 2016
Packer: AEON Stores (Hong Kong) Co., Limited
Retailer: AEON, 88 Tai Ho Road, Tsuen Wan
Cadmium level: 15ppm

(6) Product name: Live Brown Crab
Place of origin: France
Retailer: AEON, 88 Tai Ho Road, Tsuen Wan
Cadmium level: 4.3ppm

"The CFS has informed the importers and retailers concerned of the irregularities and instructed them to stop sale and remove from shelves the affected batches of the products if there were remaining stocks and initiate a recall. The CFS is also tracing the sources and distribution of the affected products," a CFS spokesman said.

Members of the public may call YATA Supermarket (Tel: 2694 3089) for enquiries about the recall of the product sold at the supermarket in Mong Kok; and AEON Stores (Hong Kong) Co., Limited (Tel: 2165 0384) for enquiries about the recall of the products sold at AEON in Causeway Bay, Lai Chi Kok and Tsuen Wan, during office hours.

According to the Food Adulteration (Metallic Contamination) Regulations (Cap 132V), any person who sells food with metallic contamination above the legal limits is liable upon conviction to a fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for six months.

The spokesman said that edible portion of crabs' cephalothorax (mainly consists of internal organs like crab roes and hepatopancreas) are generally tainted with higher levels of cadmium and other contaminants. People who consume more crabs should avoid consuming crabs' cephalothorax. The trade is also advised to ensure that all foods sold in Hong Kong comply with the legal requirements.

The CFS will inform the local trade and the relevant authorities of the places of origin of the products, as well as closely follow up on the incident and take appropriate actions to safeguard food safety and public health. Investigation is ongoing.

Ends/Tuesday, October 4, 2016

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Last revision date: 04-10-2016