Prepackaged rice cake sample not in compliance with nutrition label rules

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (January 11) announced that the sodium content of a prepackaged rice cake sample was found to be inconsistent with the declared value on its nutrition label. The CFS urged the trade to stop selling the affected batch of the product immediately.

Product details are as follows:

Product name: Rice Cake
Brand: Ng Fung
Place of origin: China
Sole agent: Ng Fung Trading Company Limited
Net weight: 500 grams per pack
Best-before date: April 27, 2017

"The above-mentioned sample was taken from a supermarket in Yau Ma Tei for testing under the CFS' regular Food Surveillance Programme. The result of chemical analysis showed that the rice cake sample contained sodium at a level of 31 milligrams per 100g, which was not consistent with the declared content (3.9mg per 100g) on its nutrition label," a spokesman for the CFS said.

According to the CFS' Technical Guidance Notes on Nutrition Labelling and Nutrition Claims, the tolerance limit for sodium content is set at the level of not more than 120 per cent of the labelled value.

"The CFS has informed the retailer concerned of the irregularity. The retailer concerned has removed from shelves and stopped sale of the affected batch of the product according to the instructions of the CFS. Prosecution will be instituted should there be sufficient evidence. The CFS has also followed up with the sole agent concerned to trace the distribution of the affected product," he added.

The spokesman urged the trade to observe the relevant laws and regulations. According to Section 61 of the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Cap 132), if any person falsely describes a food or misleads as to the nature, substance or quality of the food on a label of the food sold by him, he shall be guilty of an offence and be liable to a maximum fine of $50,000 and six months' imprisonment upon conviction.

The CFS will inform the trade, continue to follow up on the case and take appropriate action.

Ends/Monday, January 11, 2016