Food Adulteration (Metallic Contamination) (Amendment) Regulation 2018 comes into force

The Food Adulteration (Metallic Contamination) (Amendment) Regulation 2018 (the Amendment Regulation), which stipulates the updated standards for metallic contamination in food, came into force today (November 1). The amendments aim to enhance the regulatory control and update the standards with a view to better protecting public health, facilitating effective regulation and aligning Hong Kong's standards with the international ones.
The Amendment Regulation increases the total number of metallic contaminants from the existing seven to 14. The number of maximum levels (MLs) for metallic contaminants in respect of different foods and food groups is increased from the existing 19 to 144. The Amendment Regulation also provides definitions for individual foods and food groups, replaces or deletes obsolete clauses, and provides the principles for the application of MLs on food in a dried, dehydrated or concentrated form and on compounded food. In addition, there are transitional provisions in the Amendment Regulation to provide different grace periods for different kinds of foods.
A Government spokesman said, "The Amendment Regulation was published in the Gazette in June last year and the Legislative Council completed the vetting in October of the same year. To allow sufficient time for traders to adapt to the updated MLs (including identifying alternative sources of supply if needed), and for the local testing and laboratory sector to build up testing capability for the new MLs, the Amendment Regulation first takes effect for certain types of fresh food with a shorter shelf life (i.e. fruit and vegetables and their juice, animal and poultry meat, edible offal of animal and poultry, aquatic animals and poultry eggs which have not been subjected to a process of preservation, or have been preserved by chilling but not freezing) from today. For other foods, which normally have a longer shelf/storage life, the Amendment Regulation will take effect on them from November 1, 2020.
The spokesman said that the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) has conducted a series of technical meetings for the trade and other stakeholders to prepare for the commencement of the Amendment Regulation. The CFS has also prepared guidelines for the trade's reference.
For details of the Amendment Regulation and relevant guidelines, please visit the CFS' website at For enquiries, please call the FEHD hotline: 2868 0000.
Ends/Friday, November 1, 2019