Hong Kong has one of the tightest regulations on food safety for consumers in Asia

by asiafoodbeverages
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Hong Kong is one country in Asia which had introduced rigorous standards on food safety for consumers enforced through monthly inspection on food products in grocery stores and supermarkets throughout the country.

Its Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department has recently released its findings for the month of May based on inspection of more than 6,000 food samples. Only 5 samples were found to be unsatisfactory. According to a CFS spokesperson, about 1,100 food samples were collected for microbiological tests, while about 4,900 samples were taken for chemical and radiation level tests. The microbiological tests covered pathogens and hygiene indicators while the chemical tests included testing for pesticides, preservatives, metallic contaminants, colouring matters, veterinary drug residues and others. Radiation level tests included testing for radioactive caesium and iodine in samples collected from imported food from different regions.

The samples comprised of various food categories comprising of 2,400 samples of fruits and vegetables (fresh products) products; 400 samples of cereals, grains and related products; 600 samples of meat & poultry and related products; 800 samples of milk, milk-related and frozen confectionery products; 700 samples of seafood and related products, and 1,100 samples of other food products that include beverages, bakery products and snacks.

The 5 unsatisfactory samples included a grass carp sample found to contain traces of malachite green, a cheese sample detected with excessive total bacterial count, a dried durian sample detected with excessive lead, a sample of frozen confectionery product found to contain coliform bacteria exceeding the legal limit, and an eggplant sample detected with excessive pesticide residue.

The CFS has taken follow-up action on the unsatisfactory samples including informing the vendors concerned of the test results, instructing them to stop selling the affected food items while also tracing the sources of the food items.

CFS has often reminded the food trade to ensure food for sale is fit for human consumption and meets legal requirements. Consumers should patronise reliable stores when buying food and maintain a balanced diet to minimise food risks.

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