CFS urges public not to consume a batch of bottled fruit juice drink contaminated with patulin

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (August 25) announced that a sample of a bottled fruit juice drink imported from Australia was found contaminated with a mycotoxin, patulin, at a level exceeding the action level adopted by the CFS. Follow-up is in progress.

"Following up on a case referred by a relevant organisation, the CFS collected the above-mentioned sample at a supermarket in North Point for testing. The test result showed that the sample contained patulin at a level of 93 parts per billion (ppb), exceeding the action level of 50ppb adopted by the CFS. The level is the same as the standard of the Codex Alimentarius Commission on patulin in apple or apple juice," a CFS spokesman said.

Product details are as follows:

Product name: Cold Pressed Apple & Strawberry
Country of origin: Australia
Distributor: The Dairy Farm Company Limited
Volume : 1 Litre
Use by date: September 6, 2017

The CFS has informed the distributor concerned of the irregularity, and the distributor has stopped sale and removed from shelves the affected batch of the product and initiated a recall according to the CFS' instructions. Members of the public may call the company's hotline at 2299 1133 for enquiries during office hours about the recall. Prosecution will be instituted should there be sufficient evidence.

"Patulin mostly occurs in the apple and its products. Generally speaking, apple juice with a low level of patulin will not cause acute intoxification. However, studies have shown that gastrointestinal hyperaemia, distension, haemorrhage and ulceration could be resulted if animals are exposed to high levels of patulin over a short period of time," the spokesman said.

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

Ends/Friday, August 25, 2017