Stop consuming two kinds of prepackaged anchovy fillets detected with histamine

Issue Date 25.6.2018
Source of Information

Centre for Food Safety (CFS)

Food Product

Prepackaged anchovy fillets

Product Name and Description

(1) Product name: Filetti di Acciughe in Olio d’Oliva con Tartwfo (Anchovy Fillets with Truffle in Olive Oil)
Brand: TartufLanghe
Place of origin: Italy
Net weight: 90 grams per pack
Best before date: August 31, 2018 

(2) Product name: Flat Fillets of Anchovies With Capers in Olive Oil
Brand: ROCCA
Place of origin: Italy
Net weight: 100 grams per bottle
Best before date: July 31, 2019

Reason For Issuing Alert
  • The CFS collected the two abovementioned samples from the city'super supermarket in Causeway Bay for testing under its routine Food Surveillance Programme. The test results showed that the samples contained histamine at levels of 220 milligram (mg) per 100 gram (g) and 260mg per 100g respectively.
  • Histamine is commonly found in certain kinds of fish such as tuna, sardine, mackerel and anchovy, as a result of bacterial spoilage. Consumption of fish containing high levels of histamine can cause foodborne intoxication. Symptoms of histamine poisoning include tingling and burning sensation around the mouth, facial flushing and sweating, nausea, vomiting, headache, palpitations, dizziness and rash. The onset of intoxication symptoms is within a few hours after consumption and these symptoms will normally disappear in 12 hours without long term effect, the spokesman noted.
Action Taken by the Centre for Food Safety
  • The CFS has informed the vendor concerned of the irregularities. The vendor has removed from shelves and stopped sale of the affected products, and initiated a recall according to CFS' instructions.
  • The CFS will alert the trade to the incident and will continue to monitor the case and take appropriate follow-up action. Investigation is ongoing.
Advice to the Trade
  • Stop using or selling the affected products immediately if possess them.
Advice to Consumers
  • Not to consume the two abovementioned prepackaged anchovy fillets.
  • Call the vendor's hotline at 2736 3866 during office hours for enquiries about the recall.
Further Information

The CFS press release

Centre for Food Safety
Food and Environmental Hygiene Department