Prepackaged dried conch sample detected with sulphur dioxide exceeding legal limit and in breach of food labelling regulation

Issue Date 29.11.2022
Source of Information

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

Food Product

Prepackaged dried conch

Product Name and Description

Product name: 美國原隻響螺 (Not available in English)

Brand: 南北行 (Not available in English)

Net weight: 225 g

Place of origin: United States

Distributor: 南北行參茸葯材有限公司 (Not available in English)

Best-before date: 20 December, 2023

Reason For Issuing Alert

The CFS collected the dried conch sample from a supermarket in Wong Tai Sin for testing. The test result showed that the sample contained sulphur dioxide at a level of 249 parts per million (ppm), exceeding the legal limit of 30 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, 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 vendor concerned has initiated a recall on the affected batch of the product.

Advice to the Trade

The trade should stop using or selling the affected batch of products immediately if they possess it.

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 distributor, 南北行參茸葯材有限公司(Not available in English), at 2742 9811 during office hours for enquiries about the recall of the product concerned.

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Centre for Food Safety
Food and Environmental Hygiene Department