Hong Kong imports of Canadian asparagus found to be contaminated
Staff Writer |
According to Ken Wall, Chairman of the Asparagus Farmers of Ontario, it is highly doubtful that the asparagus referred to in this article is of Canadian origin.
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"The Canadian industry is highly concentrated in the southern Ontario region. This is the only region in Canada that is involved in shipping commercial volumes and where all export product is derived from," says Wall.
"This industry just started commercial production in Southern Ontario in the last several days. I am not aware of any production being shipped into Hong Kong this season."
Wall has been involved in the industry for almost 40 years and is not aware of fresh Canadian asparagus ever having been shipped into Hong Kong.
Hong Kong imports of Canadian asparagus found to be contaminate
The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department in the United States announced yesterday that a fresh asparagus sample imported from Canada was detected with cadmium, a metallic contaminant, at a level exceeding the legal limit.
The CFS is following up on the case.
“The CFS collected the above-mentioned fresh asparagus sample at import level for testing under its routine Food Surveillance Programme. The test result showed that the sample contained cadmium at a level of 0.21 parts per million (ppm), exceeding the legal limit of 0.1ppm.
“The CFS has informed the importer concerned of the test result. The CFS is tracing the source and distribution of the affected food item,” a CFS spokesman said.
According to the Food Adulteration (Metallic Contamination) Regulations (Cap 132V), any person who sells food with metallic contamination above the legal limit is liable upon conviction to a fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for six months.
“Based on the level of cadmium detected in the sample, adverse health effects will not be caused under usual consumption,” the spokesman said. ■