Hong Kong recorded 2,000 meals incidents in 2020

The Centre for Meals Security (CFS) in Hong Kong recognized greater than 2,000 incidents this previous 12 months.

Lower than one-fourth, about 440, associated to undeclared allergens, in accordance with information from the Meals Incident Surveillance System (FISS), which screens incidents exterior Hong Kong.

In 2020, the CFS issued 215 meals incident posts, 15 commerce notifications and 14 meals alerts. Recognized hazards included chemical resembling extreme use of preservatives, drug residues and undeclared allergens; microbiological, for instance Listeria, Salmonella and E. coli; and bodily which incorporates overseas our bodies. Greater than half of the incidents have been associated to chemical hazards and 37 % to microbiological points.

Motion taken by CFS in relation to incidents with native relevance concerned conducting danger assessments, checking import data, contacting related authorities, telling merchants to cease gross sales of the implicated product or subject a recall and shoppers to not eat the affected merchandise.

Residue findings on eggs
An instance was the CFS figuring out a discover issued by the Singapore Meals Company in July 2020 that residues of metronidazole have been detected in an egg product from a farm in Ukraine. Metronidazole is an antibiotic that kills micro organism.

Below present laws, importers of eggs are required to acquire import permission and report the arrival of egg consignments. The CFS recognized the native companies having imported eggs from the farm involved. The company held the egg consignments from the farm for testing and required importers to not promote them till take a look at outcomes have been out there.

One of many egg samples collected by the CFS was discovered to include metronidazole. The whole consignment was not launched to the native market and was disposed of afterwards.

The CFS suspended the import into and sale inside Hong Kong of eggs produced by the farm concerned. The company is working with authorities in Ukraine to evaluate the investigation findings and remedial measures taken. It’s also reviewing the import management association of eggs from this farm.

Tetrodotoxin and Ciguatera
In the meantime, in April the Centre for Well being Safety of the Division of Well being investigated a suspected puffer fish poisoning case that concerned a 28-year-old man who developed dizziness and palpitation after consuming puffer fish at a restaurant.

Many puffer fish include a extremely potent toxin often called tetrodotoxin (TTX), which is heat-stable and can’t be destroyed by cooking, freezing or drying. Signs beginning 20 minutes to 2 hours after ingestion and embrace numbness of the lips and mouth, adopted by tingling within the extremities, slurring of speech, muscle weak spot and paralysis. Extreme intoxication may end up in dying from respiratory and/or coronary heart failure. There isn’t any antidote.

The Centre for Well being Safety suggested merchants to not import or promote puffer fish as meals and other people to keep away from consuming processed puffer fish.

A latest incident of suspected ciguatera fish poisoning was linked to consuming a yellow-edged lyretail bought from a neighborhood market fish stall.

Signs embrace gastrointestinal points like vomiting and stomach ache, and neurological resembling tingling of lips and fatigue. Ciguatoxins are heat-stable and can’t be eliminated by cooking.

Vibrio, norovirus and Salmonella
In March, the Centre for Meals Security investigated 5 sicknesses after a dinner at a restaurant. 4 folks sought medical consideration however didn’t want hospitalization.

An evaluation by the Centre for Well being Safety advised the suspected causes have been norovirus and Vibrio parahaemolyticus in marinated uncooked crabs and uncooked cockles. The crabs and cockles have been purchased from a moist market and weren’t meant for uncooked consumption.

Cockles have been solely briefly blanched for lower than a minute, and crabs had no warmth therapy after dressing. The gadgets have been then marinated with soy sauce, garlic and chili, and refrigerated in a single day earlier than serving. After an onsite investigation, CFS informed the premises to cease promoting the raw seafood dishes.

In one other incident, 10 folks have been sickened by Salmonella after consuming a takeaway Poon Choi and different scorching dishes purchased from a licensed website earlier this 12 months. Poon Choi is a dish that may include many components together with meat and greens. The licensed restaurant has been in operation for greater than a decade however solely began promoting Poon Choi in December 2020.

An investigation revealed the identical pair of chopsticks have been utilized by meals handlers for beating uncooked eggs and transferring cooked components onto the Poon Choi, and there was no additional warmth therapy step throughout preparation. There was additionally no liquid cleaning soap close to the wash-hand basin within the meals preparation room.

Cross-contamination of rooster within the Poon Choi by meals handlers and inadequate reheating earlier than consumption by these sick have been regarded as contributing components within the meals poisoning.

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