Prepackaged fresh bean curd sticks sample in breach of food labelling regulation

Issue Date 13.12.2023
Source of Information

Routine Food Surveillance Programme

Food Product

Prepackaged fresh bean curd sticks

Product Name and Description

Place of origin: China
Net weight: 200 grams
Use By: April 25, 2024

Reason For Issuing Alert
  • The Centre for Food safety (CFS) collected the above-mentioned sample from a supermarket in Kwun Tong for testing under its routine Food Surveillance Programme. The test result showed that the sample contained sulphur dioxide. 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.
  • The food trade that the use of preservatives in food must comply with the Preservatives in Food Regulation (Cap. 132BD). Furthermore, the Food and Drugs (Composition and Labelling) Regulations (Cap. 132W) require that for all prepackaged food for sale in Hong Kong containing sulphite in a concentration of 10 ppm or more, the functional class of the sulphite and its name shall be specified in the list of ingredients. Offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $50,000 and six months' imprisonment upon conviction.
Action Taken by the Centre for Food Safety
  • The CFS has informed the sole agent concerned of the irregularities and instructed them to stop sales and remove from shelves the affected batch of the product. The sole agent 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. The 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
  • Members of the public should not consume the affected batch of the product. 
Further Information

The CFS press release

Members of the public may call its hotline at 2692 8961 during office hours for enquiries about the recall.

Photos for reference only.

Centre for Food Safety
Food and Environmental Hygiene Department