Pesticide found in prepackaged white pepper powder sample from India

Issue Date 12.10.2023
Source of Information

Centre for Food Safety (CFS)

Food Product

Prepackaged white pepper powder

Product Name and Description

Product name: Organic WHITE PEPPER POWDER
Brand: Passion by Mama 
Place of origin: India
Net weight: 55 grams per bottle
Retailer: Healthy Express 
Best-before date: June 28, 2023

Reason For Issuing Alert
  • Subsequent to announcing earlier that a sample of white pepper powder taken from a retail outlet in Tsuen Wan was found to contain a pesticide, ethylene oxide, the CFS detected a similar irregularity in another batch of white pepper powder sample taken from the same retail outlet for testing during follow-up investigations.The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified ethylene oxide as a Group 1 carcinogen.
  • According to the Pesticide Residues in Food Regulation (Cap. 132CM), a food for human consumption containing pesticide residue may only be sold if consumption of the food is not dangerous or prejudicial to health. 
Action Taken by the Centre for Food Safety
  • According to the CFS's instructions, the retailer concerned has initiated a recall on the affected batch of the product.
  • The CFS has alerted the trade to the incident, will continue to follow up and take appropriate action. An investigation is ongoing.
  • Prosecution will be instituted should there be sufficient evidence.
Advice to the Trade

Stop using or selling the affected batch of the product immediately if they possess it.

Advice to Consumers

Not to consume the affected batch of the product if they have bought it. 

Further Information

The CFS press release

Members of the public may call its hotline at 3565 1770/9555 5280 during office hours for enquiries about the recall of the product concerned.

(Photograph for reference only)

Centre for Food Safety
Food and Environmental Hygiene Department