8th June 2023 – (Hong Kong) The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department announced on June 8 that the test results of 67 rice dumpling samples collected under a recently completed seasonal food surveillance project on rice dumplings (first phase) were all satisfactory. Rice dumplings are popular festive food for the Tuen Ng Festival, and this project aims to provide information on safe consumption of rice dumplings to consumers and the trade in a timely manner.
According to a spokesman for the CFS, the samples were collected from different retail outlets (including online retailers) and food premises (including restaurants and food factories) for chemical and microbiological analyses. The chemical analyses included tests for colouring matters, preservatives, metallic contamination, and pesticide residues. The microbiological analyses covered Salmonella, coagulase-positive staphylococci organisms, Clostridium perfringens, and Bacillus cereus.
The spokesman reminded members of the public to observe food safety tips when purchasing, preparing, storing, and consuming rice dumplings. For instance, buyers should purchase rice dumplings from reliable outlets and check for expiry dates and intact packaging. Home-made rice dumplings should be prepared with clean hands and utensils, and raw and cooked food should be handled separately to avoid cross-contamination. Stored rice dumplings should be kept at 4 degrees Celsius or below, and cooked rice dumplings should be reheated thoroughly before consumption.
The spokesman also advised people to maintain a balanced diet and consume rice dumplings moderately, with due consideration of their health condition. They should also make use of nutrition labels on prepackaged food to compare their nutritional contents for healthier food choices. The food trade should purchase food ingredients from reliable suppliers and maintain proper records to facilitate source tracing when necessary. They should also follow Good Manufacturing Practice in the preparation of food products and comply with legal requirements when using food additives.