HK finds traces of banned antibiotics in prawns

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Tiger Prawns

Hong Kong food safety officers found traces of banned antibiotics in pre-packaged frozen tiger prawns imported from India.

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department said on June 29 that a trace amount of metabolite of furazolidone (a type of nitrofurans) (AOZ), a non-permitted veterinary drug, was found in a sample of frozen tiger prawn imported from India.

The European Union in 1995 banned nitrofuran antibiotics due to concerns about the carcinogenicity of their residues.

The CFS said the details of the pre-packaged tiger prawn product were:

Product name: TIGER PRAWN Peeled & Deveined, Tail On

Product brand: ocean gems

Place of origin: India

Importer: Indoguna Lordly Company Limited

Packing: 1 kilogram per pack

Best-before date: March 3, 2020

“The CFS collected the tiger prawn sample at import level for testing under its routine Food Surveillance Programme. The test result showed that it contained AOZ at a level of 21 parts per billion,” a CFS spokesman said.

The CFS said the importer stopped selling the product after it was informed about the test results. The CFS is also tracing the source and distribution of the affected product.

“The JECFA (Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives) considered that competent authorities should prevent residues of furazolidone in food,” the CFS spokesman said.

The CFS said it will to follow up the incident and take appropriate action.