Prepackaged biscuits may contain allergen (almonds)

A spokesman for the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (February 27) said that a batch of prepackaged biscuits manufactured in Korea might contain an allergen, tree nuts (almonds), but it was not declared on the product's food label. Consumers who are allergic to almonds are advised not to eat the product concerned. The trade should also stop using or selling the batch of the product concerned immediately.

Product details are as follows:

 Product name: Kancho Biscuit (Choco)
 Brand: Lotte
 Place of origin: Korea
 Manufacturer´╝ÜLotte Confectionery Co. Ltd.
 Sole agent: Edo Trading Company
 Net weight: 54 grams per pack
 Best-before date: May 18, 2018 and May 19, 2018

"The CFS, through its Food Incident Surveillance System, noted a notice issued by the New Zealand authorities concerned that certain kinds of Lotte products are under recall because they contain allergens which may not have been declared on the food label," the spokesman said.

Upon learning of the incident, the CFS immediately followed up with major local importers and retailers. Preliminary investigation revealed that according to the information provided by the local sole agent of the product concerned, it has not imported any of the products under recall in New Zealand, but it has imported one consignment, totalling 200 cartons, of the abovementioned product that may contain almonds, which are undeclared on its food label. The product concerned was only supplied to Wellcome Supermarket. The agent has initiated stopping the sale of the abovementioned product and removing it from shelves. A recall has also been initiated according to CFS’ instructions. Members of the public may call its hotline at 2614 2728 during office hours for enquiries about the recall.

 "Tree nuts (almonds) are a known food allergen. Those who are allergic to it may develop symptoms like vomiting, diarrhoea, asthma and rash upon consumption. In severe cases anaphylactic shock may even develop," the spokesman said.

The spokesman advised consumers who are allergic to almonds not to consume the product concerned. Those who feel unwell after consuming it should seek medical treatment.

The Food and Drugs (Composition and Labelling) Regulations (Cap 132W) require that all prepackaged food for sale in Hong Kong should list out the food's ingredients in its label. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $50,000 and six months' imprisonment.

The CFS will alert the trade, continue to follow up on the incident and take appropriate action. Investigation is on-going.
Ends/Tuesday, February 27, 2018