Prepackaged cheese sample not in compliance with nutrition label rules

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (January 12) announced that the protein content of a prepackaged cheese sample was found to be inconsistent with the declared value on its nutrition label. Follow-up is in progress.

Product details are as follows:

Product name: Horizon Organic - Organic American Singles
Place of origin: US
Distributor: The Dairy Farm Company Limited
Packing: 12 slices per pack
Net weight: 8 ounces/227 grams
Use-by date: February 6, 2016

"The CFS collected the above-mentioned sample from a supermarket in Causeway Bay for testing under its regular Food Surveillance Programme. The result of chemical analysis showed a discrepancy between the actual protein content (18.5g per 100g) in the sample and the declared content on its nutrition label (9g per slice (19g), i.e. 47.37g per 100g)," a spokesman for the CFS said.

According to the CFS' Technical Guidance Notes on Nutrition Labelling and Nutrition Claims, the tolerance limit for protein content is set at the level of not less than 80 per cent of the labelled value.

"The CFS has informed the vendor concerned of the irregularity and the vendor has stopped selling and removed from shelves the affected batch of the product. The CFS has also followed up with the distributor concerned to trace the distribution of the affected product," the spokesman said.

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/Tuesday, January 12, 2016