Crab samples detected with excessive cadmium

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (November 16) announced that a red crab sample, a blue crab sample and three prepackaged frozen brown crab samples were detected with cadmium, a metallic contaminant, exceeding the legal limit.
Details of the brown crab samples are as follows:

Product name: Cooked Brown Crab
Product brand: Shell Fish Ireland
Place of origin: Ireland
Weight: 400 - 600 grams and 600 - 800 grams
Batch: 181830603 and 181830610
Best-before date: July 2020

"The CFS collected the abovementioned brown crab samples respectively from three online shops, and the red crab and blue crab samples from a fresh provision shop in Tin Shui Wai and a stall in Smithfield Market, Sai Wan respectively for testing under its routine Food Surveillance Programme. The test results showed that the brown crab samples contained cadmium at respective levels of 6.42 parts per million (ppm), 7.77ppm and 18.1ppm, while levels of cadmium of the red crab and blue crab samples are 2.87ppm and 3.37ppm respectively, exceeding the legal limit of 2ppm," the spokesman said.

"The CFS has informed the vendors concerned of the irregularities and the vendors have stopped selling and removed from shelves the affected batches of the products according to CFS' instructions. The Centre is tracing the sources of the products in question," the spokesman added.

According to the Food Adulteration (Metallic Contamination) Regulations (Cap 132V), no one shall sell food with metallic contamination above the legal limits. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $50,000 and six months' imprisonment.

The spokesman said that edible portion of crabs' cephalothorax (mainly consists of internal organs like crab roes and hepatopancreas) are generally tainted with higher levels of cadmium and other contaminants. People who consume more crabs should avoid consuming crabs' cephalothorax. The trade is also advised to ensure that all foods sold in Hong Kong comply with the legal requirements.

The CFS will alert the trade, continue to follow up on the incidents and take appropriate action. Investigation is ongoing.
Ends/Friday, November 16, 2018