Prepackaged frozen lobster contains undeclared allergen (sulphur dioxide)

Issue Date 5.10.2021
Source of Information

Food Surveillance Programme of the Centre for Food Safety

Food Product

Prepackaged frozen lobster

Product Name and Description

Product details are as follows:

Product name: Frozen Jumbo Raw Caribbean Spiny Lobster Tail 14-16oz
Brand: Royal Banquet
Distributor: Widetex Food Ltd
Place of origin: Brazil
Packaging: 1 piece per pack

Reason For Issuing Alert
  • When following up on an earlier relevant incident, the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) collected the above-mentioned sample of frozen lobster from a supermarket in Causeway Bay for testing. The test result showed that the sample contained sulphur dioxide at a level of 390 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 preservative which can be used 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 irregularity, and instructed the vendor concerned to stop sale and remove from shelves the affected product. The distributor concerned has initiated a recall according to the CFS' instructions. The CFS is also 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 product immediately if they possess it.
Advice to Consumers
  • Should not consume the affected product.
Further Information

The CFS press release

Members of the public may call the hotline at 3422 8718 during office hours for enquiries about the recall.

Centre for Food Safety
Food and Environmental Hygiene Department