Undeclared allergen (sulphur dioxide) found in prepackaged sweetened mandarin sample

Issue Date 13.12.2022
Source of Information

Centre for Food Safety

Food Product

Prepackaged sweetened mandarin

Product Name and Description

Product name: Sugar Orange Cake

Brand: (Not available in English)

Net weight: 300 grams

Place of origin: China

Distributor: Hiford International Limited

Use by date: June 28, 2023

Reason For Issuing Alert
  • The CFS collected the above-mentioned sweetened mandarin sample 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 588 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 as a 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.
Action Taken by the Centre for Food Safety
  • The CFS has informed the vendor concerned of the irregularity and instructed it to stop sales and remove from shelves the affected batch of the product.
  • According to the CFS's instructions, the distributor concerned has initiated a recall of the affected batch of the product.
  • The CFS will alert the trade, continue to follow up on the incident and take appropriate action. An investigation is ongoing.
Advice to the Trade
  • The trade should stop using or selling the affected batch of the product immediately if they possess it.
Advice to Consumers
  • Do not consume the affected batch of the product.
Further Information

The CFS press release

Members of the public may call its hotline at 3170 7519 during office hours for enquiries about the recall of the product concerned.

(Photographs for reference only)

Centre for Food Safety
Food and Environmental Hygiene Department