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Pasta bugs, plastic salt and ice cream germs: 2020’s top foods scares in Hong Kong

HONG KONG, Dec 26 (SCMP):While wellness became just one of the major considerations in Hong Kong as it battled the Covid-19 pandemic, the customer watchdog in 2020 also issued several warnings around dangerous substances people today could possibly be ingesting and misleading nutritional info.

The Customer Council located some dried pasta bought in the town contained insect fragments and pesticide residue, although several concentrations of metallic contaminants were found in specific canned fish products and salt.

Below are nine of the largest food stuff scares in Hong Kong from the past 12 months.

Consumers were advised to check the expiration date on pasta packaging and look for signs of mould or contamination before they buy. Photo: Dickson Lee

1. Pasta pests

The council studied 35 pasta goods and uncovered insect fragments, rodent hair and pesticide residue, as perfectly as toxic compounds from mould in some samples. It known as on makers to phase up hygiene of the manufacturing method. 1 packet of prompt macaroni, manufactured by Nissin and packaged domestically, contained 548 microscopic insect fragments, according to the council. More than two-thirds of the samples also carried pesticide residue and deoxynivalenol, a toxin manufactured by mould which frequently infects grain and can trigger vomiting and diarrhoea if eaten in substantial quantities.

Pricey Himalayan rock salt was found to contain metal contaminates. Photo: Getty Images

2. Substandard salt

The watchdog also warned people about contaminants in salt. It examined 39 varieties, such as sea salt, rock salt, desk salt, iodised salt, lake salt and smoked salt, with the pricier things promoting for HK$440 (US$57).

20-five samples experienced at the very least one particular metallic contaminant, with two manufacturers of rock salt containing metals exceeding intercontinental requirements. The watchdog also identified microplastics in sea salt involving 4 brands. As council chief executive Gilly Wong Fung-han warned, high priced does not always translate into assurances of safety.

3. Fishy locate

A assessment of canned fish turned up some horrible surprises. The council analyzed 19 varieties of sardines, 20 styles of tuna and seven varieties of dace fish, at price ranges ranging from HK$7.80 to HK$149 per can.

Practically 90 per cent of the sardines contained cadmium, which can guide to serious poisoning or irreversible kidney malfunction if you take in way too a lot. In accordance to Wong, traces of the several contaminants in canned fish had grown in comparison to when the watchdog executed a identical research in 2004, mostly owing to air pollution.

4. Chilly publicity

Even though it is no mystery that ice product can contain higher concentrations of sugar and unwanted fat, the council found out two well-liked goods exceeded the legal concentrations for bacterial rely. Among the 29 tested frozen treats, Mint Chocolate High quality Ice Product from Appolo was observed to have 58,000 germs per gram and 10 models of coliforms for every gram. KFC’s Creamy Milk Choco Cookies Sundae carried a bacterial rely of 15,000 for every gram and 280 units of coliforms for each gram. But frozen confectionery should really not consist of more than 50,000 bacteria per gram or additional than 100 coliform bacteria for every gram, the Centre for Food Security said.

5. Crispy but risky

The watchdog warned citizens stuck at dwelling for the duration of the wellness disaster to stay away from consuming way too many crisps or French fries, provided their maybe high hundreds of fat and salt. Another risk to watch out for: some crisps and other potato-dependent snacks for sale in merchants and places to eat across the town include a cancer-creating agent in excess of European Union specifications.

The Consumer Council found 90 per cent of 38 samples of energy bars qualified as “high sugar” foods under Centre for Food Safety standards. Photo: K. Y. Cheng

6. Weighty bars

When electrical power bars may feel like a secure decision for a dietary snack, some products and solutions contained extra fat or sugar that you want. The council observed 90 for every cent of 38 samples certified as “high sugar” food items beneath Centre for Food items Protection requirements. An adult weighing 55kg ( 121 pounds) who consumes a solitary Cookie Dough bar from Pro Bar would want to stroll for 90 minutes to burn up off all the electrical power, warned

the council’s investigate and screening committee vice-chairman, Lui Wing-cheong.

7. Ditch the sauce

The council researched 100 samples of siu mei – spit-roasted meat – and lo mei, another Chinese-style braised foods in a exclusive salty sauce referred to as lo sui, and observed extra than 30 per cent were being higher in sodium. 1 food from a Sheung Wan cafe could provide about 2,400mg of sodium, more than Earth Overall health Organization’s advisable day by day intake. The council advises men and women to question cafe staff members to skip the sauce when buying the meaty goods.

Six of 15 types of baby milk formula reviewed by the council had misleading labelling. Photo: Shutterstock

8. Deceptive milk

Some producers of little one milk system were discovered to be overstating the nutritional contents of their merchandise, the watchdog warned, just after deciding six of 15 styles of pre-packaged merchandise it reviewed had discrepancies exceeding foodstuff labelling rules. Wyeth’s Illuma Infant Method Milk Powder, the most pricey of the brands surveyed at HK$539 for 850 grams, was observed to have 21.9 for each cent much less vitamin A than said. The council called upon suppliers to strengthen their good quality command and evaluate their generation method to ensure their labels have been exact.

9. Inadequately managed perishables

The watchdog also examined grocery deliveries and found consumers experienced gained melted sorbet, thawed frozen meat and blackened bananas. Out of 25 orders of frozen and perishable meals manufactured by the council, 24 had been not despatched at the essential temperature. The council noted that the selection of problems about unsatisfactory online grocery expert services surged in the to start with 11 months of the yr, more than doubling to 952 cases. – South China Morning Publish