What are you eating: dishonest labels and non-edibles found in HK

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) has been quite busy these past few weeks, having released a string of food alerts to the public.

According to a recent report from Hong Kong's Information Services Department, two prepackaged food items on the market -- smoked oysters and organic cheese -- have been found to have misleading information on their nutrition labels.

An 85g pack of Smoked Oysters in Olive Oil imported from Korea, which expires in March 18, 2018, which declares a total fat content of 7g per 85g actually contains 30.3g per 100g, or 25.76g per 85g. The sample was drawn from a supermarket in Tseung Kwan O.

A sample of Horizon Organic - Organic American Singles, a 12 slice pack from the US dated to expire on April 9, 2016 showed inconsistencies in its protein content. The sample, taken from a Causeway Bay supermarket, labeled to contain 9g of protein per (19g) slice was shown to carry only 18.5g per 100g, or 3.52g per slice. Another cheese sample taken from a different batch of the product in stock at the same supermarket displayed the irregularity as well. Sale of the affected batches of products has since been put to a stop.

On February 26, CFS issued an alert for a batch of 130g Mars Snickers Miniatures packs from the Netherlands, dated best before July 17, 2016. CFS learned that the manufacturer of Mars chocolate initiated a recall of product batches from its Netherlands plant as they might contain pieces of plastic.

It immediately launched an investigation and contacted major local suppliers and retailers, and found that at least one of the affected batches of product had been imported into Hong Kong. 80 boxes in total were supplied to one retailer in particular, and there was no remaining stock. The retailer has since stopped sale and removed the affected batch of its product from shelves. A recall was initiated. The public has been urged not to consume the product.

On February 11, CFS advised merchants to stop distributing four kinds of Raw Meal Organic Shake & Meal Replacement products produced by Garden of Life LLC from the US, for containing salmonella. The United States Food and Drug Administration recalled several batches of the products. Salmonella poisoning can cause gastrointestinal conditions and can be fatal.

Photo by The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (Looking at Food Labels (098)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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