Prepackaged red date and date samples detected with sulphur dioxide

Issue Date 7.12.2023
Source of Information

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

Food Product

Prepackaged red date and date samples

Product Name and Description

Product name: SSJ Sliced Red Date


Net weight: 500 grams

Place of origin: China

Distributor: Yue Sang Trading Limited

Best-before date: 30 September, 2024

Hotline: 2392 6288


Product name: Dates

Brand: 盞記 (Not available in English)

Net weight: 605 grams

Place of origin: China

Packer: Cross International Limited

Best-before date: 31 October, 2024

Hotline: 2815 5872

Reason For Issuing Alert

The CFS collected the red date and date samples from an online vendor and a retail outlet in Yuen Long respectively for testing under its routine Food Surveillance Programme. The test result showed that the red date sample contained sulphur dioxide at a level of 1,400 parts per million, exceeding the legal limit of 1,000 ppm under the Preservatives in Food Regulation (Cap. 132BD), and the functional class and name of the additive were also not declared on the food label. As for the other date sample, although the level of sulphur dioxide found to be contained in it is below the statutory maximum permitted level, 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, headaches and nausea after consumption.

Action Taken by the Centre for Food Safety

The CFS has informed the vendors and the distributor/packer concerned of the irregularities and instructed them to stop sales and remove from shelves the affected batches of the products. The distributor/packer concerned have initiated recalls 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

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

Advice to Consumers

Do not consume the affected batches of the products.

Further Information

The CFS press release.

Members of the public may call the respective hotlines during office hours for enquiries about the recalls.

Photos for reference only.


Centre for Food Safety
Food and Environmental Hygiene Department