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Food Safety Focus (111th Issue, October 2015) – Food Incident Highlight

Malachite Green and Fish

Last month, the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) announced that two samples of tinned fried dace were found to contain trace amounts of malachite green. The Harmful Substances in Food Regulations (Cap. 132AF) do not allow the presence of malachite green in any food sold in Hong Kong.

Malachite green is an industrial dye used to colour materials such as silk and paper. Worldwide, malachite green has also been used in aquaculture for the treatment of parasitic, fungal and protozoan diseases in fish. However, due to its ability to cause cancer in experimental animals, major agricultural economies such as the Mainland, the European Union, Canada and the United States prohibit the use of malachite green in food fish.

The trade shall ensure that the foods they sell are fit for human consumption and comply with local legislations. The CFS has informed the vendor concerned of the irregularity and will continue to follow up on the incident.