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In late 2020, the Centre for food safety (CFS) published a consultation document “Proposed Amendments to the Harmful Substances in Food Regulations (Cap. 132AF)”, aiming to review and strengthen the existing control of harmful substances in food for protecting public health. Once approved, there will be an 18-month grace period for the food traders to prepare and meet the new food safety regulation.

What will be the major changes - harmful substances in food?

The scope of the proposals will reinforce their limits and update the requirements, including mycotoxins, harmful substances in edible fats and oils, condiments and infant formula products as well as partially hydrogenated oils, on par with the international standards. 

As stated by the new proposal, there are three main focuses on harmful substances in food:

  • Add more stringent limits on mycotoxins - Aflatoxin, Deoxynivalenol (DON) / vomitoxin, Patulin
  • Tighten up the maximum levels on harmful substances in edible fats and oils, condiments or infant formula products (Benzo[a]pyrene, glycidyl fatty acid esters, melamine, - 3-monochloropropane-1,2-diol and erucic acid)
  • Prohibit the sale and imports and impose label requirement of the main source of IP-TFAs - partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) 

Overview of the Proposal

Food Substances

Food Group

Proposed ML

Mycotoxins

Aflatoxins, total (Aflatoxins B1, B2, G1, G2)

Non-ready-to-eat peanuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts and pistachios

15 μg/kg

Non-ready-to-eat products of the above food

Spices

Ready-to-eat peanuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts and pistachios

10 μg/kg

Ready-to-eat products of the above food

Dried figs

Any other food

5 μg/kg

Aflatoxin B1

Any food intended to be consumed principally by persons under the age of 36 months

0.1 μg/kg

Aflatoxin M1

Infant formula and follow-up formula intended to be consumed principally by persons under the age of 12 months

0.025 μg/kg

Any other milk and dried milk

0.5 μg/kg

Deoxynivalenol (DON)

Any food containing cereal intended to be consumed principally by persons under the age of 36 months

200 μg/kg

Patulin

Apple juice and other beverages to which apple juice has been added

50 μg/kg

Carcinogens

Benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P)

Any oil or fat or any mixture of oil and fat

5 μg/kg

infant formula and follow-up formula intended to be consumed principally by persons under the age of 12 months

1 μg/kg

3-monochloropropane-1,2-diol (3-MCPD)

Solid condiments

1 mg/kg

Any other condiments

4 mg/kg

Glycidyl fatty acid esters (GEs)

Powdered infant formula and follow-up formula intended to be consumed principally by persons under the age of 12 months

50 μg/kg

Liquid infant formula and follow-up formula intended to be consumed principally by persons under the age of 12 months

6 μg/kg

Erucic acid

Low erucic acid rapeseed oil

2 per centum by weight of their fatty acid content

Any other oil/fat/ any mixture of oil and fat

5 per centum by weight of their fatty acid content

Others

Melamine

Liquid infant formula and follow-up formula intended to be consumed principally by persons under the age of 12 months

0.15 mg/kg

Milk other than liquid infant formula intended to be consumed principally by persons under the age of 12 months

1 mg/kg

Any other food intended to be consumed principally by persons under the age of 36 months

Food testing services

In order to meet the updated legal compliance and regulation of food trading, local manufacturers of related industries could allow the independent third party to conduct test and risk assessments of their food products before selling to specific markets. For food safety due diligence, SGS, with adequate testing experience and technical professionals, could help you get prepared for the new standards with our comprehensive solution on testing food products so as to better safeguard public health and take reference to eliminate the risks associated with food products.

Food safety audit and certification services

SGS provides the food industry with audit and certification solutions against a variety of standards such as FSSC 22000 Food Safety Management Systems, ISO 22000 Food Safety Management Systems, and The Global Standard for Food Safety. Wherever you are in the food value chain, we can independently audit your processes and/or systems against the requirements of these world-class standards. Certification helps you and your suppliers adopt the highest standards in food safety, meet your regulatory requirements and contractual obligations, and gain access to global markets.

Food safety training services

The food industry is subject to a high number of strict standards and regulations to ensure quality and safety, minimize risks to consumers and the efficiency of processes. To help you operate successfully in the industry, SGS Academy offers a comprehensive range of learning and development solutions.

Discover all food safety training courses now at SGS Academy. Enroll online to enjoy a 10% discount.

Contact us if you require further information.