CFS announces food safety report for November

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (December 30) released the findings of its food safety report for last month. The results of about 6,600 food samples tested were satisfactory except for 11 samples that were announced earlier. The overall satisfactory rate was about 99.8 per cent.

A CFS spokesman said about 2,000 food samples were collected for microbiological tests, and about 4,600 samples were taken for chemical and radiation level tests.

The microbiological tests covered pathogens and hygiene indicators; the chemical tests included testing for pesticides, preservatives, metallic contaminants, colouring matters, veterinary drug residues and others; and the radiation level tests included testing for radioactive caesium and iodine in samples collected from imported food from different regions.

The samples comprised about 2,000 samples of vegetables and fruit and their products; about 400 samples of cereals, grains and their products; about 800 samples of meat and poultry and their products; about 1,300 samples of milk, milk products and frozen confections; about 700 samples of aquatic and related products; and about 1,400 samples of other food commodities (including beverages, bakery products and snacks).

The 11 unsatisfactory food samples comprised a white string beans sample, a spinach sample and a green radish sample detected with excessive pesticide residues; a fish ball sample detected with methylmercury at a level that may have contravened the regulations; an eggplant sample detected with metallic contaminants exceeding the legal limit; a prepackaged dried conch sample detected with sulphur dioxide exceeding the legal limit and in breach of the food labelling regulation; a fresh beef sample found to contain sulphur dioxide; a prepackaged dried shrimp sample in breach of the food labelling regulation; a prepackaged frozen shrimp sample found to contain nitrofuran metabolite; a fish oil sample of a prepackaged fish oil supplement detected with a contaminant, benzo[a]pyrene; and a prepackaged milk product sample detected with milk solids other than fat at a level not in compliance with the regulations.

The CFS has taken follow-up action on the above-mentioned unsatisfactory samples including informing the vendors concerned of the test results, instructing them to stop selling the affected food items and tracing the sources of the food items in question.

The spokesman reminded the food trade to ensure that food for sale is fit for human consumption and meets legal requirements. Consumers should patronise reliable shops when buying food and maintain a balanced diet to minimise food risks.
Ends/Friday, December 30, 2022