The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department announced today (November 6) that a consignment of fresh vegetables and fruits imported from Japan was found to contain radish and cabbage from prefectures under an import ban. All of the illegally imported products have been marked and sealed and none have entered the market. Follow-up is in progress.
“The CFS found that a consignment of 652 cartons of fresh vegetables and fruits imported from Ishikawa and Nagano in Japan contained 90 cartons of radish from Chiba and 40 cartons of cabbage from Ibaraki. The CFS immediately marked and sealed all the illegally imported products stored in the warehouse of the importer. None of the products have entered the market. Samples of the products concerned were taken for testing of radiation levels and the results were satisfactory,” a CFS spokesman said.
In response to the Fukushima nuclear power plant incident in Japan in 2011, the Director of Food and Environmental Hygiene issued an order under Section 78B of the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Cap. 132) to prohibit the import of vegetables and fruits, milk, milk beverages and milk powder from the five most affected prefectures of Japan, namely Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Chiba and Gunma. The CFS also prohibits the import of all chilled or frozen game, meat and poultry, all poultry eggs and all live, chilled or frozen aquatic products from the five prefectures to Hong Kong, unless accompanied by a certificate issued by the competent authority of Japan certifying that the radiation levels do not exceed the Guideline Levels.
“The aforesaid order is still in force. The food trade must strictly comply with the order and not import any restricted fresh produce from the five Japanese prefectures concerned. Anyone found guilty of contravening any terms of the order is liable to a maximum fine of $100,000 and imprisonment for 12 months,” the spokesman said.
The spokesman reminded importers to inspect their fresh produce from Japan carefully to avoid mixing their goods with products which are covered by the import ban.
The CFS has notified the Japanese authorities, and will continue to follow up on the case and take appropriate action to safeguard food safety and public health.