Celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival and Observe Mooncake Safety Tips
Although the tales related to the Mid-Autumn Festival have been fading out, appreciating the full moon and eating mooncakes remain popular traditional activities. People are quite willing to spend lavishly on this festive food to celebrate the Festival.
In the recent years, consumers have higher expectations: good taste, appetizing appearance and high nutrition value. Apart from the traditional mooncakes, there are snowy mooncakes and ice-cream mooncakes that have won the hearts of many young people and children. The ingredients also come with a large variety from the lotus seed paste, egg yolk, bean paste, to chocolate, coffee or even bird nest flavours.
Due to the absence of a high-temperature treatment during the manufacturing process, snowy and ice-cream mooncakes tend to pose a higher microbiological risk than traditional mooncakes. Hence, strict hygiene and stringent temperature control are necessary during processing, transportation and storage to prevent contamination and growth of bacteria.
Following are some safety tips for consumers who purchase and consume snowy or ice-cream mooncakes:
- Beware of the storage temperature at the place of purchase. Snowy mooncakes should be kept in a chiller at 4℃ or below while ice-cream mooncakes should be kept in a freezer at -18℃ or below;
- When purchasing mooncakes, check if they are properly packaged and watch out for any unusual appearance;
- Check the expiry dates and consume them before the expiry dates;
- Take snowy or ice-cream mooncakes home immediately after purchase, keep them in a suitable temperature compartment of a refrigerator, and make sure that they are wrapped properly to avoid cross contamination;
- Do not leave snowy or ice-cream mooncakes under room temperature as bacteria can multiply rapidly in the temperature danger zone of 4℃ to 60℃;
- Discard snowy and ice-cream mooncakes that have been kept at room temperature for more than two hours;
- Do not consume the mooncake if it looks or tastes abnormal;
- Use an icebox to keep snowy or ice-cream mooncakes at appropriate temperature when carrying them outdoors. Take the mooncakes out of the icebox only upon eating;
- Cleanse the hands before consuming the mooncakes.
Moreover, consumers are advised to eat mooncakes in moderation as most of these cakes are rich in sugar and fat. Patients with chronic illnesses should consult dieticians before eating mooncakes.