Not to consume Australian Apricot Kernels

Issue Date 21.8.2014
Source of Information

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ)

Food Product

Apricot Kernels

Product Name and Description

Product name: Aprisnax Australian Raw Apricot Kernels
Net weight: 1 kilogram (kg) per pack
Best before: November 2015
Place of origin: Australia

Reason For Issuing Alert

Presence of higher than usual levels of hydrocyanic acid.

Cyanogenic glycosides, which naturally present in apricot kernels, are relatively non-toxic. However, they can release hydrocyanic acid, which is toxic to humans, as a result of chemical reaction.

In humans, the clinical signs of acute cyanide intoxication include rapid respiration, drop in blood pressure, headache, stomach pain and vomiting.

Action Taken by the Centre for Food Safety

The CFS has contacted the Australian authorities for more information. So far, there is no indication of any affected product being imported to Hong Kong.

For the sake of prudence, the CFS will alert the trade of the incident and urge them to stop selling the affected product.

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

Advice to the Trade

Stop selling the affected product.

Advice to Consumers

Consumers who have recently bought any of the product concerned abroad or online, or if they are unsure of the details of relevant product, should stop eating it. People should also seek medical treatment if they feel unwell after consuming the particular product.

Further Information

The CFS press release

Website of the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ)

Centre for Food Safety
Food and Environmental Hygiene Department