Two prepackaged food samples not in compliance with nutrition label rules

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (January 22) announced that the nutrient contents of two prepackaged food samples, namely a gum sample and a sample of canned baked beans in tomato sauce, were found to be inconsistent with the declared values on their nutrition labels. The CFS urged the trade to stop selling the affected batches of the products immediately.

Product details are as follows:

(1) Product name: Flavored Gum - Mini Cola Bottle
Brand: Pierrot Gourmand
Place of origin: France
Distributor: Getz Bros & Co (Hong Kong) Limited
Net weight: 125 grams per pack
Best-before date: January 13, 2017

(2) Product name: Baked Beans in Rich Tomato Sauce
Brand: Heinz Beanz
Place of origin: England
Distributor: Sims Trading Company Limited
Net weight: 415g per can
Best-before date: November 3, 2016

"The CFS collected the above-mentioned gum sample and baked beans sample from two supermarkets in Admiralty and Causeway Bay respectively for testing under its regular Food Surveillance Programme. The results of chemical analysis showed a discrepancy between the actual contents of total fat (0.43g per 100g), saturated fatty acids (0.23g per 100g) and sodium (10 milligrams per 100g) in the gum sample and the declared contents on its nutrition label (0.1g of total fat, 0.1g of saturated fatty acids and 0g of sodium). As for the baked beans sample, its actual total fat content (0.47g per 100g) does not tally with the declared content on its nutrition label (0.2g per 100g)," a spokesman for the CFS said.

According to the CFS' Technical Guidance Notes on Nutrition Labelling and Nutrition Claims, the tolerance limits for contents of total fat, saturated fatty acids and sodium are set at the level of not more than 120 per cent of the labelled values.

"The CFS has informed the retailers concerned of the irregularities. The retailers concerned have removed from shelves and stopped sale of the affected batches of the products according to the instructions of the CFS. Prosecution will be instituted should there be sufficient evidence. The CFS has also followed up with the distributors concerned to trace the distribution of the affected products," he added.

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 cases and take appropriate action.

Ends/Friday, January 22, 2016