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Food Safety Focus (181st Issue, August 2021) – Food Incident Highlight

Commencement of the Amendments to the Harmful Substances in Food Regulations

The Legislative Council has passed the Harmful Substances in Food (Amendment) Regulation 2021 (the Amendment Regulation) to better protect public health. The Amendment Regulation prohibits partially hydrogenated oils in food. Such amendment meets the World Health Organization's goal of eliminating industrially produced trans fatty acids from the global food supply by 2023. It is also in line with one of the key measures under the “Towards 2025: Strategy and Action Plan to Prevent and Control Non-communicable Disease in Hong Kong”. The relevant provisions will come into operation on 1 December 2023.  

Besides, the Amendment Regulation strengthens the regulatory control of mycotoxins in food. It sets or updates the maximum levels of five other harmful substances in edible fats and oils, condiments or formula products intended for infants. These include benzo[a]pyrene, glycidyl fatty acid esters, melamine, 3-monochloropropane-1,2-diol and erucic acid. The provisions stipulating the maximum levels of these harmful substances in food will all come into operation on 1 June 2023. 

In addition to online publicity and trade forum, technical meetings have been conducted to facilitate the trade’s understanding and compliance with the Amendment Regulation. Please visit our webpage for the latest updates.