Eel products with malachite green seized

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) today (October 6) reminds food trade operators to buy eel products from reliable suppliers and to comply with the law, which prohibits the presence of malachite green in live fish and fish products.

Acting on information, the CFS conducted blitz operations and inspected seven premises, including restaurants and suppliers' premises suspected of selling eel products from dubious sources. Six samples of eel products were taken in the operations for chemical tests.

"Test results available show that two of the samples contain malachite green," Principal Medical Officer (Risk Management) of the CFS, Dr Tina Mok said.

The samples concerned, containing 16,000 ppb and 2.5 ppb of malachite green, were taken from a Japanese restaurant "Tin Chung" at Kau Yuk Road, Yuen Long and Kana Transa Group (HK) Co. Ltd. at Yuen Long Industrial Estate respectively. Based on the level of malachite green detected, she said normal consumption should not pose any adverse health effects.

The CFS seized all the remaining stock of eel products, totalling some 400 kilograms, found in the premises concerned.

According to the Harmful Substances in Food Regulations, no food sold in Hong Kong is allowed to contain malachite green.

"The CFS would consider prosecuting the operator of the food premises and the supplier concerned.

"Investigations are continuing," Dr Mok added.

Ends/Friday, October 6, 2006