CFS finds traces of malachite green in two tinned fried dace samples

Regarding the recent media reports that malachite green was detected in some dace samples, the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department started investigation immediately. The CFS today (August 29) announced that trace amounts of malachite green were found in two samples of tinned fried dace. The CFS is following up on the incident.

A CFS spokesman said, "The CFS collected six samples of fresh dace and three tinned fried dace samples from different local retail outlets for analyses. Results showed that malachite green was found in two samples of tinned fried dace of different brands respectively taken from Wellcome Supermarkets at North Point and Sai Wan at levels of 1.3 and 0.78 parts per billion respectively."

"Although only traces of malachite green have been found in the samples, Hong Kong law does not allow food to contain malachite green," he added.

Product details are as follows:

(1) Product name: Yupin fried dace with salted blackbeans
Retail Outlet: Wellcome Supermarket at City Garden, Electric Road, North Point
Place of origin: China
Agent: Chinalink International Enterprises Ltd
Net weight: 184 grams
Best-before date: January 2, 2017

(2) Product name: Pearl River Bridge fried dace with salted black beans
Retail Outlet: Wellcome Supermarket at Westwood, Sai Wan
Place of origin: China
Agent: Champion Fair Ltd
Net weight: 227 grams
Best-before date: May 21, 2018

"Malachite green is a type of industrial dye and has been used for treating infection in fish. Major agricultural economies such as the Mainland, the European Union, Canada and the United States prohibit the use of the chemical in food fish. According to the Harmful Substances in Food Regulations (Cap. 132AF), no food sold in Hong Kong is allowed to contain malachite green. Offenders will be prosecuted and will be liable to a fine of $50,000 and to imprisonment for six months upon conviction."

The CFS has taken appropriate action, including informing the supermarket chain concerned of the irregularity, and will consider taking prosecution action. The supermarket chain concerned has stopped sale of the two affected batches of the products upon the CFS' instruction. The CFS will alert the trade to the incident and trace the source and distribution of the affected products. The trade should also stop selling the affected products.

The CFS will continue to follow up on the incident and take appropriate action.

Ends/Saturday, August 29, 2015