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Food Safety Focus (171st Issue, October 2020) – Food Incident Highlight

Updated Regulatory Measures on Metallic Contaminants in Food

The Food Adulteration (Metallic Contamination) (Amendment) Regulation 2018 (‘the Amendment Regulation’) will take full effect from 1 November 2020 to cover all kinds of foods. The Amendment Regulation first took effect on 1 November 2019 for certain types of fresh food with a shorter shelf life, e.g. fresh vegetables and fish. For other food which normally have a longer shelf life, a 12-month grace period was offered. The grace period will end on 31 October 2020.

The amendments aim to enhance the regulatory control and update the standards to better safeguard public health and align the local regulatory standards with the international ones. The Amendment Regulation increases the number of metallic contaminants covered from 7 to 14, and the number of maximum levels for metallic contaminants in respect of different foods and food groups is increased from 19 to 144.

Traders should observe the details of the Amendment Regulation and ensure the foods for sale comply with the standards.