CFS announces test results of seasonal food surveillance project on hairy crabs

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (November 8) announced the test results of the seasonal food surveillance project on hairy crabs. The results of 178 samples tested were satisfactory, except for one unsatisfactory sample which was announced earlier.

The tests included veterinary drug residues (such as nitrofurans and malachite green), metallic contaminants (such as cadmium and mercury), synthetic hormones, colouring matters (such as Sudan dyes), pesticide residues, as well as dioxins and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

A spokesman for the CFS today said, "The CFS collected 178 hairy crab samples produced in different places (such as the Mainland, Japan, Taiwan and the Netherlands) at import and retail levels (including online retailers) for chemical tests. Except for a sample which was detected with dioxins and dioxin-like PCBs exceeding the action level adopted by the CFS, other samples passed the tests." The unsatisfactory sample was imported from an aquaculture farm in Taoyuan, Taiwan. The affected hairy crabs have not entered the market. The CFS announced the testing result of the unsatisfactory hairy crab sample on October 16, and instructed the trade to suspend the import into and sale within Hong Kong of hairy crabs raised in the aquaculture farm concerned.

The Centre advises people to observe the "Five Keys to Food Safety" in purchasing, storing, preparing and cooking hairy crabs to prevent food-borne illnesses.

The "Five Keys to Food Safety" for consumers are:

Choose wisely
* Buy crabs from reliable and hygienic shops or restaurants; and
* Buy crabs with intact, shiny shells and without a foul smell.

Keep clean
* Brush and wash the crab shells and claws before cooking; and
* Wash hands thoroughly with running water and soap before consumption.

Separate raw and cooked food
* Put the raw crabs in a container with a cover and store them separately from other foods in the refrigerator to avoid cross-contamination.

Cook thoroughly
* Avoid eating raw crabs. Cook thoroughly and remove internal organs completely before consumption. Condiments such as salt, vinegar, wine and wasabi cannot kill bacteria or parasites that may be present.

Safe temperature
* Cooked crabs should be consumed as soon as possible. Leftovers should be cooled promptly and stored in the refrigerator within two hours.

Traders should source hairy crabs from reliable suppliers and comply with the relevant regulatory requirements. Moreover, hairy crabs for sale must be kept in a refrigerator.

Ends/Wednesday, November 8, 2017