Excessive metallic contaminant found in dried lily bulb sample

Hong Kong (HKSAR) -      The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (May 19) announced that a prepackaged dried lily bulb sample was detected with excessive cadmium, a metallic contaminant. Members of the public should not consume the affected batch of the product and the trade should also stop using or selling the affected batch of the product immediately should they possess it.

     Details of the product are as follows:

Product name: Dried lily bulb
Brand: English name not available
Place of origin: China
Packer: English name not available
Net weight: 0.5 catty per pack
Best-before date: November 2, 2017

     "The CFS collected the above-mentioned sample at a retail outlet in Tai Po for testing under its routine Food Surveillance Programme. The test result showed that the sample contained cadmium at a level of 1.1 parts per million (ppm).

After applying the conversion factors for dried foods as recommended by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the reported cadmium level for the dried lily bulb sample was 0.45ppm, exceeding the legal limit of 0.1ppm," a CFS spokesman said.

     The spokesman said the CFS has informed the vendor concerned of the irregularity and instructed it to stop sale and remove from shelves the affected batch of the product. Should there be sufficient evidence, prosecution will be instituted. The CFS is tracing the source and distribution of the affected product. 

     "Based on the level of cadmium detected in the sample, adverse health effects will not be caused under usual consumption.

However, for the sake of prudence, consumers are advised to stop eating the affected batch of the product," the spokesman said.

     According to the Food Adulteration (Metallic Contamination) Regulations (Cap 132V), any person who sells food with metallic contamination above the legal limit is liable upon conviction to a fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for six months.

     The CFS will alert the trade, continue to follow up on the incident and take appropriate actions to safeguard food safety and public health. Investigation is ongoing.

Published on: 2017-05-19

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