CFS reminds trade to observe orders and preventive measures on Taiwan edible oil

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (August 14) reminded the trade that the preventive measures taken by the Centre in response to the substandard lard incident in Taiwan last year, including the issuance of three Food Safety Orders and a directive on a total ban on the import into and sale within Hong Kong of all edible oil produced in Taiwan, are still in force.

A spokesman for the CFS said that subsequent to the detection of import of sesame oil manufactured in Taiwan by PrizeMart Limited earlier this month, the CFS was notified by the relevant department that the vendor had imported another kind of sesame oil manufactured in Taiwan. The CFS has liaised with the importer to follow up on the incident, and urges the trade to observe the directive and not to sell the product concerned.

Details of the product are as follows:

Product name: Luen Tung Sesame Oil
Place of origin: Taiwan
Manufacturer: (English name not available)
Best-before date: May 6, 2017
Net weight: 500 millilitres per bottle

"According to the information provided by the importer, the import quantity of the affected Luen Tung Sesame Oil was 2 160 bottles. Some of the product has been distributed to its retail outlets for sale while the remaining stock of 1 056 bottles is stored in the importer's warehouse," a CFS spokesman said.

The spokesman said, "The product in question does not belong to the food items not allowed to be supplied in Hong Kong under the Food Safety Orders. However, it is an oil product prohibited to be imported into and sold within Hong Kong under an executive directive which is still in force. Therefore, the trade should follow the instruction of the CFS and stop selling and using the product immediately. The importer concerned has voluntarily stopped sale and recalled the affected product from its retail outlets, and has isolated the remaining stock. As the importer concerned failed to provide the import record of the affected sesame oil as required by the CFS earlier, follow-up by the Centre is in progress and prosecution will be instituted should there be sufficient evidence."

The spokesman said the Centre has been keeping close contact with the Taiwan authorities to follow up on the safety of edible oil produced by Taiwan. The Centre will adjust its food safety control measures as appropriate and make announcement accordingly.

The CFS will inform the Taiwan authorities and the local trade, closely follow up on the incident and take appropriate actions to safeguard food safety and public health. Investigation is ongoing.

Ends/Friday, August 14, 2015