Prepackaged popcorn sample detected with non-permitted preservative

Food name:

ROSE SALT CARAMEL (Rock Salt Caramel)
Place of origin: Hong Kong
Best before date: July 20, 2023
Preservative: Methyl para-hydroxybenzoate
Detected level: 36.7 parts per million
Maximum permitted level: Not permitted
Sampling location: A retail shop in Mong Kok


  1. The Centre for Food Safety has instructed the vendor to stop selling the incriminated batch of the affected product.

  2. 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.

  3. Based on the level of methyl para-hydroxybenzoate detected in the sample, adverse health effects would not be caused under usual consumption.

  4. The Centre for Food Safety will inform the trade, continue to follow up on the unsatisfactory result, including tracing the source of the food in question.  

  5. Investigation is ongoing.

END/ Tuesday, July 11, 2023