Food Safety Focus (20th Issue, March 2008) – Food Incident Highlight
Petroleum Products in Salmon
In mid-February 2008, the Food Standards Agency in the United Kingdom (UK) issued a food alert with subsequent updates concerning the recall of a number of salmon products (ranging from fresh salmon fillets and steaks to smoked salmon and fish pies) sold under different brands and available in various supermarket chains. These salmon products were suspected of being contaminated with petroleum products (e.g. diesel), resulting in an unpleasant taste. According to the information provided by the UK authorities, the chemicals implicated in the recall were present at low levels which were very unlikely to be a risk to health.
As some of the affected products had been imported to Hong Kong, the Centre for Food Safety made a public announcement. The local retailers concerned have stopped selling the products. Members of the food trade should take all precautionary measures necessary in each stage of food production to ensure product safety.