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Food Safety Focus (161st Issue, December 2019) – Food Incident Highlight

Beware of Excessive Cadmium in Seafood

The Centre for Food Safety recently announced that the cadmium level of three brown crab samples exceeded the legal limit. The vendors involved were instructed to stop selling the affected batches of the products.

Cadmium is a metallic contaminant identified as of major public health concern by the World Health Organization. Excessive intake of cadmium can cause chronic toxicity in humans such as irreversible kidney dysfunction. Seafood is a major dietary source of cadmium. Some seafood, such as brown crabs, oysters and scallops, contains relatively high levels of cadmium, especially in their viscera. Fish, on the other hand, contains lower cadmium levels in general.

The enhanced regulation of metallic contamination which has a wider coverage came into force recently. With better protection by the regulation, consumers are still advised not to over-consume in seafood high in cadmium. The trade is advised to source food from reliable suppliers and to ensure that all foods comply with the legal requirements.