Food Safety Ordinance
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Record-keeping requirement relating to food

Food Safety Ordinance requires any person who, in the course of business, imports, acquires or supplies by wholesale food in Hong Kong to keep transaction records of the business from which it acquired the food and the business to which it supplied the food. Besides, any person who captures local aquatic products and in the course of business, supplies them in Hong Kong is required to keep the capture record. The requirement to keep records of supplies of food does not apply to retail supplies to ultimate consumers.

There is no stipulated format for the records of each transaction to be maintained but such records should cover information as required under Part 3 of the Food Safety Ordinance. Traders may choose, for example, one of the following means for compliance with the legal requirement –

  • keeping the receipts/ invoices which should contain the required information detailed below;
  • create their own transaction records (both written records or electronic records are acceptable);
  • use templates of record-keeping listed below.

Record Type

Template Record

(A) Record of local acquisition of food
(Local acquisition record)

Record of local acquisition of food

(B) Record of acquisition of imported food
(Import record)

Record of acquisition of imported food

(C) Record of capture of local aquatic products
(Capture record)

Record of capture of local aquatic products

(D) Record of wholesale supply of food
(Wholesale record)

Record of wholesale supply of food

(A) Record of local acquisition of food (Local acquisition record)
A person who, in the course of business, acquires food in Hong Kong must record the following information about the acquisition –

(a) the date the food was acquired;
(b) the name and contact details of the seller;
(c) the total quantity of the food;
(d) a description of the food.

The record must be made within 72 hours after the time the food was acquired.

(B) Record of acquisition of imported food (Import record)
A person who, in the course of business, imports food acquired outside Hong Kong must record the following information about the acquisition –

(a) the date the food was acquired;
(b) the name and contact details of the seller;
(c) the place from where the food was imported;
(d) the total quantity of the food;
(e) a description of the food.

The record must be made at or before the time the food is imported.

(C) Record of capture of local aquatic products (Capture record)
A person who captures local aquatic products and who, in the course of business, supplies them in Hong Kong must record the following information about the capture –

(a) the date or period of the capture;
(b) the common name of the local aquatic products;
(c) the total quantity of the local aquatic products;
(d) the area of the capture

In order to provide a general reference for fishermen in making the capture record, some examples of the common name of aquatic products commonly found in Hong Kong are set out at Appendix IV of the “Code of Practice on Keeping Records Relating to Food.

Please also refer to Appendix V of the Codefor some examples of common capture area (Hong Kong waters, Guangdong Coast, Xisha/ Zhongsha, Nansha and Nansha Islands). For local aquatic products captured outside Hong Kong and the Mainland, traders should state the country of the water areas where the aquatic products were captured (e.g. Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Kiribati).

The common local aquatic products and capture areas as listed out in Appendix IV and V are numbered. In making the capture record, fishermen can simply enter the corresponding number to record their catch (e.g. “1” represents golden thread and “2” represents yellow belly) and the capture area (e.g. “1” represents Hong Kong waters and “2” represents coastal areas of Guangdong Province).

The record must be made at or before the time the supply takes place.

(D) Record of wholesale supply of food (Wholesale record)
A person who, in the course of business, supplies food in Hong Kong by wholesale must record the following information about the supply –

(a) the date the food was supplied;
(b) the name and contact details of the buyer;
(c) the total quantity of the food;
(d) a description of the food.

The record must be made within 72 hours after the time the supply took place.

Duration of Keeping Records

A person who, in the course of business, imports, captures, acquires or supplies by wholesale food in Hong Kong must keep the record for the period specified below.

For food with shelf-life of 3 months or less

3 months after the date the food was acquired, captured or supplied

For food with shelf-life greater than 3 months

24 months after the date the food was acquired, captured or supplied

For live aquatic products

3 months after the date the food was acquired, captured or supplied

Penalties

Any person who fails to comply with the record-keeping requirement, without reasonable excuse, commits an offence and is liable to a maximum fine of $10,000 and imprisonment for 3 months.

For more details, please refer to the Code of Practice on Keeping Records Relating to Food.

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Last Revision Date : 01-02-2012