Health Investigation Begins After Dye is Found in Catfish

CFS Finds Illegal Green Dye in Catfish

The Centre for Food safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department announced via government press release on Sept. 22 that malachite green was found in a catfish sample.

“The CFS collected the above-mentioned catfish sample from a stall at Cheung Sha Wan Wholesale Food Market for testing under its routine Food Surveillance Programme. The test result showed that the sample contained malachite green at a level of 1.16 parts per billion” said a CFS spokesperson.

The CFS has also informed the vendor involved of the irregularity and has instructed them to stop sale of the affected product. The CFS is also tracing the source and distribution of the product.

Malachite green is a type of industrial dye used in aquaculture to treat parasitic, fungal, or protozoan diseases in fish. Currently, malachite green has been prohibited for use in food-producing animals in many countries due to its potential carcinogenicity, mutagenicity, and teratogenicity. In Hong Kong, food products containing traces of malachite green is not allowed under the Harmful Substances in Food Regulations. Offenders will be prosecuted and liable to a fine of HK$50,000 and to imprisonment for six months upon conviction.

The CFS is following up on the incident with an investigation and will take necessary action.

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