A kind of pre-packed shelled pistachio imported from Italy was contaminated with aflatoxins

Issue Date 7.8.2014
Source of Information

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) received notification from the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) of the European Commission

Food Product

Pre-packed shelled pistachio

Product Name and Description

Product name: Pistacchio Crudo
Place of origin: Iran
Packer: LIFE S.r.l. at Sommariva Perno in Italy
Lot no: L 101.14
Weight: 1 kilogram (kg)
Best before date: May 30, 2015

Reason For Issuing Alert

The kind of pre-packed shelled pistachio was detected with aflatoxins at a level of 282 microgram (µg) per kg. The Italian packer has initiated a recall of the affected product. A small amount of the affected product has been imported to Hong Kong.

Action Taken by the Centre for Food Safety

Upon receiving the notification, the CFS immediately contacted the importer concerned in Hong Kong, Ellermann Trading Limited, for marking and sealing of the remaining stock found in the importer’s warehouse. According to the information provided by the importer, a certain amount of the affected product has been delivered to a retailer, but the product has yet to be put on shelves. Hence, the CFS believed that the product concerned has not entered the local market. The retailer will return the affected product to the importer for mark-and-seal and disposal by the CFS.

The CFS will alert the trade of the incident.

The CFS will continue to closely monitor the situation and take appropriate follow-up actions.

Advice to the Trade

Stop selling the affected product immediately.

Advice to Consumers

Stop consuming the product concerned.

Seek medical advice if feel sick after consuming the product concerned.

To avoid excessive intake of mycotoxins, people are advised to maintain a balanced and varied diet to minimise the risk from a small range of food items, and to avoid consuming food that looks mouldy or damaged.

Further Information

The CFS press release

Members of the public who have bought the affected product overseas are advised to stop consuming it and submit it to the CFS at 2/F, Fa Yuen Street Municipal Services Building, 123A Fa Yuen Street, Mong Kok, during office hours for disposal.

Centre for Food Safety
Food and Environmental Hygiene Department