Not to consume batch of imported soda water suspected to contain bromate

Issue Date 16.4.2020
Source of Information

Centre for Food Safety

Food Product

Bottled soda water

Product Name and Description

Product name: Soda Water

Brand: Chang

Place of origin: Thailand

Manufacturer: Cosmos Brewery (Thailand) Co Ltd

Importer: Best Spirits Co Ltd

Volume: 325 millilitres per bottle

Best before date: January 23, 2021

Reason For Issuing Alert
  • The CFS, through its Food Incident Surveillance System, noted a notice issued by the Macau authorities concerned that the batch of soda water product re-exported from Hong Kong contained bromate at a level exceeding the safety standard of Macau and its sale had to be stopped.
  • Preliminary investigations revealed that an importer, Best Spirits Co Ltd, had imported 2,800 cartons of the affected batch of the product, with some 100 cartons re-exported to Macau, and the remaining distributed in Hong Kong.
  • Bromate is the ionic form of bromic acid in aqueous solution. The bromate in drinking water is formed during ozonation process of water. If a large amount of bromate is consumed, people may experience gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. It may also affect the kidney and nervous system in severe cases. Although there is evidence suggesting that bromate can cause cancer in animals, there is not yet sufficient data confirming that it can cause cancer in humans.
Action Taken by the Centre for Food Safety
  • The CFS immediately contacted major local importers and retailers for follow-up.
  • The importer concerned has initiated a recall of the affected batch of product according to CFS' instructions.
  • The CFS will alert the trade, continue to follow up on the incident and take appropriate action. Investigation is ongoing.
Advice to the Trade
  • The trade should also stop using or selling the product concerned immediately if they possess it.
  • According to Section 54 of the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Cap 132), all food for sale in Hong Kong, locally produced or imported, should be fit for human consumption. An offender is subject to a maximum fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for six months upon conviction.
Advice to Consumers
  • Members of the public may call the importer's hotline 2378 2563 or 2378 2561 during office hours for enquiries about the recall.
Further Information

The CFS press release

Centre for Food Safety
Food and Environmental Hygiene Department