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Food Safety Focus (89th Issue, December 2013) – Food Incident Highlight

Risks and Benefits of Fish Soup Consumption

Fish soup has been regarded as a nutritious food and is traditionally considered by the Chinese to be particularly good for lactating women as part of the postpartum confinement diet. However, there are recent concerns on whether contaminants such as methylmercury present in fish may leach into the soup posing risk to the foetus and infant if pregnant or lactating women drink fish soup frequently.

The Centre for Food Safety has conducted a study to evaluate the risks and benefits of fish soup consumption. The study, which focused on fish soup commonly consumed by lactating women after childbirth, has revealed that the benefits gained outweighed the risks.

Since fish contain many essential nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids and high quality proteins, moderate consumption of a variety of fish is recommended for pregnant or lactating women.