Undeclared allergen (sulphur dioxide) found in prepackaged dates

Issue Date 28.8.2023
Source of Information

The Centre for Food Safety

Food Product

Prepackaged dates

Product Name and Description

Product details are as follows:

Product name: 蜜棗 (Not available in English)
Brand: 恒德行 (Not available in English)
Place of origin: China
Net weight: 300 grams
Best-before date: July 1, 2024
Distributor: 恒德行貿易公司 (Not available in English)

Reason For Issuing Alert
  • The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) collected the above-mentioned sample from an online vendor for testing under its routine Food Surveillance Programme. The test result showed that the sample contained sulphur dioxide. Although the sulphur dioxide level is below the maximum permitted level under the Preservatives in Food Regulation (Cap. 132BD), the functional class and the name of the additive were not declared on the food label of the sample.
  • 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 online vendor and distributor concerned of the irregularities and instructed them to stop sale and remove from shelves the affected batch of the product. The distributor concerned has initiated a recall according to the CFS's instructions.
  • 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 the distributor's hotline at 6098 7030 during office hours for enquiries about the recall.

(Photographs for reference only)

Centre for Food Safety
Food and Environmental Hygiene Department