Excessive metallic contaminant found in prepackaged dried mushroom and bamboo fungus samples

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (June 30) announced that one prepackaged dried mushroom and two prepackaged bamboo fungus samples were detected with a metallic contaminant, cadmium, at levels exceeding the legal limit. Members of the public should not consume the affected batches of the products and the trade should also stop using or selling the products concerned immediately.

Details of the product are as follows:

(1)Product name: Imperial Banquet Dried Mushroom
Place of origin: China
Distributor: A.S. Watson Group (HK) Limited
Best-before date: January 10, 2018
Net weight: 454 grams per pack

(2)Product name: Dried Bamboo Fungus
Brand name: Kai Tsun Tong
Place of origin: China
Distributor: Kai Tsun Tong International Group Limited
Best-before date: June 1, 2017
Net weight: 40 grams per pack

(3)Product name: Bamboo Pith
Brand name: First Edible Nest
Place of origin: China
Packer: Cross International Limited
Best-before date: May 4, 2017
Net weight: 1 tael per pack

"The CFS collected the above-mentioned dried mushroom sample from a supermarket in Tai Kok Tsui and the two bamboo fungus samples from a supermarket in Hung Hom and a retail shop in Tai Po respectively for testing under its routine Food Surveillance Programme. The test results showed that the dried mushroom sample contained cadmium at a level of 2.3 parts per million (ppm) while the two bamboo fungus samples contained cadmium at a level of 3.1 and 3.3 ppm respectively. After applying the conversion factors for dried foods as recommended by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the reported cadmium levels for the dried mushroom and bamboo fungus samples were 0.21, 0.28 and 0.30 ppm respectively, exceeding the legal limit of 0.1ppm. The CFS has informed the vendors concerned of the test results and has instructed the vendors to stop the sale of the affected batches of the products. The CFS is tracing the sources and distribution of the food items in question," a CFS spokesman said.

According to the Food Adulteration (Metallic Contamination) Regulations (Cap 132V), any person who sells food with metallic contamination above the legal limit is liable upon conviction to a fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for six months.

"Based on the levels of cadmium detected in the samples, adverse health effects will not be caused under normal consumption. However, consumers who have bought and still possess the affected batches of the products should stop eating them," the spokesman said.

The CFS will alert the trade, continue to closely follow up on the cases and take appropriate action to safeguard food safety and public health. Investigation is ongoing.

Ends/Thursday, June 30, 2016