CFS finds malachite green in prepackaged snakehead sample

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (July 19) announced that malachite green was found in a prepackaged snakehead sample. Follow-up is in progress.

Product details are as follows:

Product name: Snakehead
Net weight: 600 to 700 grams
Place of origin: China
Retailer: Millennium Hong Kong Food Service Limited
Best-before date: June 25, 2021

A CFS spokesman said, "The CFS collected the above-mentioned snakehead sample from an online shop for testing under its routine Food Surveillance Programme. The test result showed that the sample contained malachite green at a level of 2.02 parts per billion."

The spokesman added, "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 retailer concerned has initiated a recall according to the CFS' instructions. Members of the public may call the retailer's hotline at 2430 1119 during office hours for enquiries about the recall. The CFS is also tracing the source and distribution of the affected product."

Malachite green is a type of industrial dye and has been used for treating infections in fish. Currently, malachite green has been prohibited for use in food-producing animals in many countries. According to the Harmful Substances in Food Regulations (Cap. 132AF), no food sold in Hong Kong is allowed to contain malachite green. Offenders will be prosecuted and will be liable to a fine of $50,000 and to imprisonment for six months upon conviction.

The CFS will alert the trade, continue to follow up on the incident and take appropriate action. Investigation is ongoing.
Ends/Monday, July 19, 2021