Hold the sushi! Food alert on Japanese tuna

Two alerts in the space of a week have been issued by the Hong Kong Centre for Food Safety after excessive levels of mercury have been found in tuna from Japan.

The Centre issued an alert yesterday that a batch of chilled tuna imported from Japan was found to contain levels of mercury exceeding the legal limit.

A CFS spokesman said tests showed that the tuna contained mercury at a level of 0.92 parts per million (ppm) - exceeding the legal limit of 0.5 ppm.

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The South China Morning Post reported that supermarket City Super has withdrawn the tuna from sale.

The alert is the second in the space of a week. The Centre detected another batch of chilled bluefin tuna imported from Japan with excessive mercury levels on October 31.

Testing of that batch revealed mercury at a level of 0.73 parts per million (ppm) - exceeding the legal limit of 0.5 ppm.

Mercury may affect the nervous system, particularly the developing brain. At high levels, mercury can affect foetal brain development, and affect vision, hearing, muscle co-ordination and memory in adults.

Photograph: flickr.com

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