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HK Food Surveillance: Overall Failure Rate Stands at 0.3%

Hong Kong Food and Environmental Hygiene Department said on Wednesday that among the latest 4,500 food samples taken for microbiological and chemical tests, the overall failure rate was 0.3 percent.


The department released the most up-to-date results of its Food Surveillance Program.


The department's Assistant Director (Food Surveillance and Control) Thomas Chung said "the results for microbiological tests, which target at pathogenic bacteria and viruses, were satisfactory."


He said among the some 1,700 food samples tested, three were found to contain pathogens.


They included a salted chicken sample, tested to have Salmonella; a sample of oatmeal with milk containing Listeria monocytogenes and a sample of luncheon meat with noodle containing Bacillus cereus.


He said the presence of the pathogens was most likely related to improper food handling.


For the some 2,800 chemical test results, Chung said 12 unsatisfactory samples were detected.


They included two samples which were found to contain preservatives exceeding the permitted level, namely a chilli sauces ample and a spicy sauce sample containing benzoic acid.


Other unsatisfactory results involved one rice sample and two dried seaweed samples containing respectively cadmium and arsenic that exceeded the permitted levels. These metal substances are commonly found in the natural environment.


While the 12 unsatisfactory samples were unlikely to have acute harmful effects on health, Chung said retailers had been advised to stop selling the products in question and to comply with the legal requirements.


(Xinhua News Agency June 23, 2005)

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