Undeclared allergen (sulphur dioxide) found in prepackaged date sample

Issue Date 18.12.2020
Source of Information

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS)

Food Product

Prepackaged date

Product Name and Description

Product name: Preserved Date

Place of origin: China

Distributor: Premier Food Ltd

Net weight: 250 grams per pack

Best-before date: December 31, 2021

Reason For Issuing Alert
  • The CFS collected the above-mentioned sample of date from an online shop for testing under its routine Food Surveillance Programme. The test result showed that the sample contained sulphur dioxide at a level of 180 parts per million (ppm), exceeding the legal limit of 100 ppm. The functional class and name of the additive were also not declared on the food label.
  • Sulphur dioxide is a commonly used preservative in a variety of foods including dried vegetables, dried fruits, pickled vegetables and salted fish products. Sulphur dioxide is water soluble, and most of it can be removed through washing and cooking. However, susceptible individuals who are allergic to this preservative may experience breathing difficulties, headache and nausea after consumption.
Action Taken by the Centre for Food Safety
  • The CFS has informed the vendor concerned of the irregularities and instructed it to stop sale and remove from shelves the affected batch of the product. The distributor concerned has initiated a recall according to the CFS' instructions. The CFS is tracing the source of the affected product.
  •  The CFS will alert the trade, continue to follow up on the incident and take appropriate action. Investigation is ongoing.
Advice to the Trade

Stop using or selling the affected batch of the product immediately if they possess it.

Advice to Consumers

Should not consume the affected batch of the product.

Further Information

The CFS press release

Members of the public may call its hotline at 2291 6216 during office hours for enquiries about the recall.

Centre for Food Safety
Food and Environmental Hygiene Department