The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (December 29) released the findings of its food safety report for the last month. Among about 12 400 food samples, seven were found to be unsatisfactory and the remaining samples were all satisfactory. The overall satisfactory rate was 99.9 per cent.
A CFS spokesman said about 1 700 food samples were collected for microbiological tests, some 4 200 samples were taken for chemical tests and the remaining 6 500 (including about 6 200 taken from food imported from Japan) were collected to test radiation levels.
The microbiological tests covered pathogens and hygienic indicators, while the chemical tests included detecting pesticides, preservatives, metallic contaminants, colouring matters, veterinary drug residues and others.
The samples comprised about 3 400 samples of vegetables and fruit and their products; 900 samples of meat and poultry and their products; 1 700 samples of aquatic and related products; 1 000 samples of milk, milk products and frozen confections; 800 samples of cereals, grains and their products; and 4 600 samples of other food commodities (including beverages, bakery products and snacks).
The seven unsatisfactory samples comprised three crab samples, a Chinese lettuce sample and a rice vermicelli sample detected to contain cadmium exceeding the legal limits; a shark's tail skin sample found to contain excessive mercury; and a dried bamboo fungus sample detected to contain a preservative, sulphur dioxide, exceeding the legal limit.
The CFS has taken follow-up actions on the unsatisfactory samples, including informing the vendors concerned of the test results, instructing them to stop selling the affected food items and tracing the sources of the food items in question.
The spokesman reminded the food trade to ensure that food for sale is fit for human consumption and meets legal requirements. Consumers should patronise reliable shops when buying food and maintain a balanced diet to minimise food risks.
Ends/Friday, December 29, 2017