Prepackaged dried mushroom sample in breach of food labelling regulation

Issue Date 19.8.2022
Source of Information

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) - routine Food Surveillance Programme

Food Product

Prepackaged dried mushrooms

Product Name and Description

Product name: 好棧精選茶花菇 (Not available in English)

Place of origin: China

Packer: 好棧食品有限公司 (Not available in English)

Net weight: 500g

Best-before date: 30 November, 2023

Reason For Issuing Alert

The CFS collected the sample from a retail outlet in Kowloon Bay for testing. The test result showed that the sample contained sulphur dioxide, a preservative which is allowed to be used in certain foods. Although the sulphur dioxide level is below the maximum permitted level under the Preservatives in Food Regulation (Cap. 132BD), the name of the additive was 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, headaches and nausea after consumption.

The CFS will alert the trade, continue to follow up on the incident and take appropriate action. Investigation is ongoing.

Action Taken by the Centre for Food Safety

The CFS has informed the vendor concerned of the irregularity and instructed it to stop sale and remove from shelves the affected batch of the product. According to the CFS's instructions, the packer concerned has initiated a recall on the affected batch of the product. Prosecution will be instituted should there be sufficient evidence.

Advice to the Trade

Stop using or selling the affected products immediately if they possess them.

Advice to Consumers

Do not consume the affected products.

Further Information

The CFS press release

Members of the public may call the hotline of the packer (好棧食品有限公司) at 3188 3141 during office hours for enquiries about the recall of the product concerned.

(Photos for reference only.)

Centre for Food Safety
Food and Environmental Hygiene Department