Rice roll sample detected with preservative benzoic acid exceeding legal limit

Product name:

Steamed rice roll


Benzoic acid

Detected level:

1400 parts per million

Maximum permitted level:

1000 parts per million

Sampling location:

A restaurant in Mong Kok


  • The CFS has instructed the vendor to stop selling the affected product.
  • According to the Preservatives in Food Regulation (Cap 132BD), any person who sells food with preservative above the legal limit may be prosecuted and is liable to a maximum fine of $50,000 and six months' imprisonment upon conviction.

  • Prosecution will be instituted should there be sufficient evidence.

  • Benzoic acid is a preservative of low-toxicity. Based on the level of detected in the above-mentioned sample, adverse health effects will not be caused under usual consumption.

  • The CFS will follow up on the unsatisfactory result, including tracing the source of the food in question so as to safeguard food safety and public health.
  • Investigation is ongoing.

END/ Friday, January 8, 2021