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Food Safety Focus (56th Issue, March 2011) – Food Incident Highlight

Abuse of Hydrolysed Leather Protein in Milk Products

Last month, media reported the abuse of hydrolysed leather protein in milk products in the Mainland. Hydrolysed leather protein is reportedly made from hydrolysing scrap leather and added to milk products by unscrupulous manufacturers to increase protein content. This illegal practice causes food safety concerns since metallic contaminants used in the manufacturing process of leather might be present in the milk products.

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) conducts regular testing on milk and milk products for metallic contaminants under the routine surveillance programme, with satisfactory results for all samples tested in the past three years. Following the media report, the CFS immediately collected samples of milk and milk products for testing of metallic contaminants and the results were all satisfactory. The CFS will continue to monitor the situation.

The trade should source milk and milk products from reliable suppliers. They should ensure that all foods for sale in Hong Kong comply with the legal standards and are fit for human consumption.