Prepackaged melon seed sample detected with mineral oil exceeding legal limit

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (December 22) announced that a sample of prepackaged melon seeds was detected with mineral oil at a level exceeding the legal limit. Members of the public should not consume the affected batch of the product. The trade should also stop using or selling the affected batch of the product immediately if they possess it.

Product details are as follows:

Product name: (Not available in English)
Brand: (Not available in English)
Net weight: 454 grams
Place of origin: China
Distributor: (Not available in English)
Best-before date: October 24, 2023

"The CFS collected the above-mentioned melon seed sample from an online shop for testing under its routine Food Surveillance Programme. The test result showed that the amount of mineral oil contained in the sample was 0.59 parts by weight of mineral oil per 100 parts by weight of the article of food, exceeding the legal limit of 0.2 parts," a CFS spokesman said.

"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. According to the CFS's instructions, the distributor concerned has initiated a recall of the affected batch of the product. Members of the public may call its hotline at 6063 3461 during office hours for enquiries about the recall of the product concerned," the spokesman added.

"Consumers should choose food products with natural colours. Melon seeds with unnatural gloss may have had mineral oil added. Consumption of food products containing an excess amount of mineral oil may cause gastrointestinal discomfort," the spokesman said.

According to the Mineral Oil in Food Regulations (Cap 132AR), any person who sells food containing mineral oil above the legal limit is liable upon conviction to a fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for six months.

The CFS will alert the trade, continue to follow up on the incident and take appropriate action. An investigation is ongoing.
Ends/Thursday, December 22, 2022