Food fraud is rampant in pre-packaged and non-prepackaged meatballs, according to the Consumer Council in Hong Kong. A DNA investigation of beef meatballs revealed that 60% of samples contained pig derived meat, other samples contained chicken. None of the analyzed lobster ball samples showed any crustacean DNA. Consumers, especially ones with dietary or religious restrictions, are cautioned to check the ingredients lists of pre-packaged meatballs carefully and to be aware the some of the meatballs may contain undesired mystery meat.
China and Hong Kong are big markets for expensive high-end cherries from Tasmania in Australia, usually selling for $12–$3 per pound ($26–$39/kg), and especially popular during the Chinese New Year celebrations. It is estimated that fake fruit outsells the real Tasmanian cherries five-fold, in spite of tracking with specific serial numbers on the genuine cherries’ packaging. In the most recent fraud case, an arrest was made and the seized cherries are under investigation.
Fresh beef adulterated with sulphur dioxide was found in a Hong Kong market by the Centre of Food Safety. The adulteration of fresh or chilled meat with sulphur dioxide carries hefty penalties of fines and even prison time. Sulphur dioxide is a widely used preservative and antioxidant for foods and beverages that include dried fruits, processed meat products such as sausages, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages. The substance is harmless to healthy persons, however, in subjects with a sulphur dioxide allergy, breathing difficulties and asthma can be induced.
Centre for Food Safety (April 10, 2019). “Fresh beef sample found to contain sulphur dioxide” Centre for Food Safety, The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Accessed April 10, 2019. Retrieved from https://www.cfs.gov.hk/english/press/20190410_7408.html
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