Bottled coconut cooking oil sample not in compliance with nutrition label rules

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (February 9) announced that the contents of saturated fatty acids and trans fatty acids of a bottled coconut cooking oil sample were found to be inconsistent with the declared contents on its nutrition label. In addition, the format of the label on durability indication, the name of the food and the list of ingredients of the sample was not in compliance with legal requirements. The CFS urged the trade to stop selling the affected product immediately.

Product details are as follows:

Product name: A CAP Organic Coconut Cooking Oil
Place of origin: The Philippines
Distributor: A Star Coconut Ltd
Net volume: 500 millilitres
Date of expiry: April 10, 2019

A spokesman for the CFS said, "Following up on a food complaint, the CFS collected the above sample from a retail outlet of the distributor in Wan Chai for testing. The test result showed that there were discrepancies between the actual content of saturated fatty acids (73.3 grams per 100g) and the declared content (0g per 100g), as well as the actual content of trans fatty acids (0.76g per 100g) and the declared content (0g per 100g) on its nutrition label.

"The CFS has informed the vendor concerned of the irregularities and instructed it to stop sale and remove from shelves all batches of the affected product. Should there be sufficient evidence, prosecution will be instituted."

According to Section 61 of the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Cap 132), if any person falsely describes food or misleads as to the nature, substance or quality of the food on a label of the food sold by him or her, he or she shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a maximum fine of $50,000 and six months' imprisonment upon conviction. Also, according to Section 4A(1) of the Food and Drugs (Composition and Labelling) Regulations (Cap 132W), prepackaged food shall be marked and labelled in the manner prescribed in the law. The maximum fine is $50,000 and six months' imprisonment upon conviction.

The CFS will inform the trade, continue to follow up on the case and take appropriate action.
Ends/Friday, February 9, 2018