CFS announces food safety report for July

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (August 31) released the findings of its food safety report for last month. The results of about 5 400 food samples tested were found to be satisfactory except for 10 unsatisfactory samples which were announced earlier. The overall satisfactory rate was 99.8 per cent.

A CFS spokesman said about 1 700 food samples were collected for microbiological tests, and about 3 700 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 1 300 samples of vegetables and fruit and their products; about 500 samples of cereals, grains and their products; about 500 samples of meat and poultry and their products; about 1 200 samples of milk, milk products and frozen confections; about 900 samples of aquatic and related products; and about 1 000 samples of other food commodities (including beverages, bakery products and snacks).

The 10 unsatisfactory samples comprised two fresh beef samples found to contain sulphur dioxide; two fish ball samples detected with methylmercury at a level that may have contravened the regulations; a prepackaged fresh bean curd sheet sample and a prepackaged frozen confection product sample not in compliance with the Food and Drugs (Composition and Labelling) Regulations; a prepackaged chilled crayfish sample suspected to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes; a prepackaged popcorn sample detected with a non-permitted preservative; a papaya sample detected with an excessive pesticide residue and a scallop sample with excessive metallic contaminant.

The CFS has taken follow-up actions 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 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.

Separately, as the Japanese Government has started its plan to discharge nuclear-contaminated water at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Station, the CFS will continue enhancing the testing on imported Japanese food, and make reference to the risk assessment results to adjust relevant surveillance work in a timely manner. The CSF will announce every working day on its dedicated webpage ( the radiological test results of the samples of food imported from Japan, with a view to enabling the trade and members of the public to have a better grasp of the latest safety information.

Ends/Thursday, August 31, 2023