Harmful Substances in Food Regulations

Introduction

Under the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Cap. 132) (“the Ordinance”), food for sale and intended for human consumption in Hong Kong must be fit for human consumption.  Standards relating to food safety are provided in various subsidiary legislations of the Ordinance.  In particular, the Harmful Substances in Food Regulations (Cap. 132AF) (“the Regulations”) stipulate that any specified food containing prohibited substances or specified harmful substances in excessive concentrations is not allowed to be imported to or sold in Hong Kong.

Amendments to the Regulations

In view of the public health and food safety risks posed by harmful substances (e.g. mycotoxins) in food, the Centre for Food Safety of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department has conducted risk assessments having regard to local dietary practices and reviewed relevant standards under the existing Regulations based on the General Standard for Contaminants and Toxins in Food and Feed of the Codex Alimentarius Commission.  For certain harmful substances and foods / food groups that are of greater food safety risks to the local population but without corresponding Codex standards, the Centre for Food Safety has formulated relevant proposals by making reference to the practices of other places and taking into account the local situation.

Major proposed amendments

Proposed amendments to the Regulations mainly include:

To provide sufficient time for the food trade to get prepared for the updated food safety standard, it also proposes to have an 18-month grace period after the Amendment Regulations publish in the Gazette.

Public consultation

The 3-month public consultation has been commenced on 11 December 2020. Please click here to browse the consultation document.

Relevant documents can also be obtained from the following locations:-

Please send your views by letter, facsimile or e-mail to Centre for Food Safety on or before 15 March 2021.  Details are as follows –

Centre for Food Safety
Food and Environmental Hygiene Department
43/F, Queensway Government Offices,
66 Queensway, Hong Kong
Facsimile: (852) 2893 3547
E-mail address: harmful-sub-consultation@fehd.gov.hk

Public forum (17 January 2021)

A public forum in form of online video conferencing (Zoom Cloud Meetings) on the Proposed Amendments to the Harmful Substances in Food Regulations has been arranged.

Powerpoint

Trade forum (23 December 2020)

A trade forum in form of online video conferencing (Zoom Cloud Meetings) on the Proposed Amendments to the Harmful Substances in Food Regulations has been arranged.

Powerpoint

 

Technical Meeting (January 2021 – ongoing )

A series of meetings to discuss with trade and other interested stakeholders on technical issues related to the proposed amendments to the Regulations will be arranged.

1st Meeting (27 January 2021)


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