CFS urges public not to consume a batch of jasmine floral tea containing pesticide residues

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (May 13) announced that a sample of jasmine floral tea was found to contain pesticide residues and urged members of the public not to use the affected batch of the product. The trade should also stop selling the product concerned immediately.

"In mid-April, announcements by the Taiwanese authorities that pesticide residues with levels exceeding their regulatory standards were detected in a number of tea leaf / floral tea samples available in the Taiwan market sparked concern among the public. To address public concern, the CFS, apart from liaising with the Taiwanese authorities over the issue, has immediately enhanced surveillance on tea leaf and floral tea for testing of pesticide residues," a CFS spokesman said.

"The CFS today found a jasmine floral tea sample taken at Kai Fat Tea Company Limited in Sheung Wan to contain Triazophos at a level of 0.41 parts per million (ppm). According to the information provided by the vendor concerned, the import quantity of the affected floral tea was two kilograms, among which one kilogram available for sale in the shop has been removed from shelves acording to the instruction of the CFS. The remaining kilogram has been sold to Coffee Alley, which has also been instructed by the CFS to remove from shelves the affected floral tea," he added.

"Although the Pesticide Residues in Food Regulation has not specified the Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) for Triazophos in floral tea, the primary objective of setting MRLs is to encourage the trade to observe Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). As the sample was found to contain pesticide residues at a level far beyond the reasonable level under the GAP and might have breached Section 52 of the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance which stipulates that any person sells to the prejudice of a purchaser any food which is not of the nature, substance or quality of the food demanded by the purchaser shall be guilty of an offence. The Centre will seek legal advice over the case. Based on the level of pesticide residues detected in the sample, adverse health effects will not be caused under normal consumption," the spokesman said.

The CFS has collected 101 tea leaf and floral tea samples for testing of pesticide residues from different retail outlets in Hong Kong since April 21. Except for the above-mentioned jasmine floral tea sample, the other 99 samples, with results available at the moment, passed the test.

The spokesman reminded the trade to stop selling any product that is suspected to be affected and inform the CFS immediately. Members of the public who have doubts in related products they have purchased should stop consumption and contact the concerned retailers. Consumers and traders are advised to refer to the latest announcement at CFS' website (

The Centre will inform the local trade about the test result, continue to investigate and take appropriate action to safeguard food safety and public health.

Ends/Wednesday, May 13, 2015