Four kinds of imported baby porridges suspected to be contaminated with atropine

Issue Date 13.12.2014
Source of Information

European Commission

Food Product

Baby porridge

Product Name and Description

Product names:
1. Holle Organic Millet Porridge Apple - Pear
2. Holle Organic Millet Porridge with Rice
3. Holle Organic Milk Cereal with Millet
4. Holle Organic 3-Grain Porridge

Place of origin: Switzerland
Weight: 250 grammes

Reason For Issuing Alert

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) received notification from the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed of the European Commission that Holle Baby Food GmbH has initiated a recall of certain batches of five kinds of baby porridge (including the above four) as the products were detected with atropine at levels between 3.73 parts per billion (ppb) and 31.9 ppb, exceeding the maximum permitted level of 0.025 ppb set by the European Union. According to the notification, some of the affected products were exported to Hong Kong.

Atropine is a kind of tropane alkaloids. Consumption of the aforesaid products contaminated with atropine may cause short-term adverse effects, for example, dilated pupils, change of heart rate, dryness of the mouth, constipation, urinary retention, and flushed skin. The chemicals present will be excreted from the body and therefore there are no long term health effects.

Action Taken by the Centre for Food Safety

The CFS has immediately contacted the major importer of the products concerned in Hong Kong and learnt that the affected products had been imported to Hong Kong and were all sold to retailers. For prudence sake, the importer agreed that the sale of all batches of the four kinds of products listed above should be stopped. The importer would initiate a recall of the products concerned from the retailers.

With regard to the fifth product mentioned in the notification, Millet and Rice Whole Wheat Porridge, the CFS staff has conducted checks on major local retail outlets and did not find the product available for sale.

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 products concerned immediately, regardless of batches, and return the products to the supplier/importer.

Advice to Consumers

Stop feeding infants and toddlers with products concerned and return them to respective retailers. Medical advice should be sought if they feel sick after consuming the product concerned.

Further Information

The CFS press release

For enquiries about the recall of the affected products, consumers may call the importer at 3188 2463 during office hours.

Centre for Food Safety
Food and Environmental Hygiene Department