Bottled chilli paste sample in breach of food labelling regulation

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (October 30) said that a sample of bottled chilli paste manufactured in Singapore was detected with an allergen, fish, but it was not declared on the product's food label. A CFS spokesman said consumers who are allergic to fish are advised not to consume the batch of the product concerned. The trade should also stop using or selling the  affected product immediately should they possess it.

Product details are as follows:

Product name: Sambal Belachan Chilli Paste
Brand: Kwong Cheong Thye
Place of origin: Singapore
Distributor: Tropical Trading Company
Net weight: 230g per bottle
Best before date: November 27, 2021

The spokesman said, "The CFS collected the abovementioned sample from a supermarket in Causeway Bay for testing under its routine Food Surveillance Programme. The test result showed that the sample contained fish, but it was not declared on the food label. The CFS has informed the vendor concerned of the irregularity and instructed it to stop sale and remove from shelves the affected batch of the product. The distributor concerned has initiated a voluntary recall on the affected batch of the product. For enquiries about the recall, members of the public may call the distributor's hotline at 2366 8606.

"Fish is a known food allergen. Those who are allergic to it may develop symptoms like shortness of breath, skin itchiness and rash upon consumption. In severe cases anaphylactic shock may even develop. "

The spokesman advised consumers who are allergic to fish to stop consuming the product concerned. People should seek medical treatment if they feel unwell after consuming it.

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 ingredients in its list of ingredients. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $50,000 and six months' imprisonment.

The CFS will alert the trade to the incident and will continue to follow up and take appropriate action. Investigation is ongoing.

Ends/Friday, October 30, 2020