Purchasing Food Online

In this era of information technology, online shopping has become more popular every day. Although online shopping has its advantages, it also creates new challenges in food safety.

To ensure food safety, the principles of Five Keys to Food Safety should also be applied when purchasing food over the internet. Members of the public are advised to purchase food from reliable online shop. Food products that are easily perishable, ready-to-eat, etc. have higher potential risk of microbiological contamination and hence require special storage and transport conditions. It is not easy for the consumers to verify whether the online shop has put in place appropriate storage and transportation measures to ensure food safety. As such, the public is advised to pay special attention to the nature and potential risks associated with the food items that they intend to purchase online. Susceptible populations, e.g., the elderly, young children, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems or liver diseases, etc., should take extra precautions.

Food trade has the responsibility to ensure that the food sold by them is fit for human consumption, no matter whether their business is conducted online or in the traditional manner. The Centre for Food Safety, as the food authority of Hong Kong, has the duty to ensure members of the food trade comply with the relevant food regulations and take enforcement actions as appropriate.