MOH: Locally-Produced Biscuits Are Safe To Eat

Last week, a Hong Kong consumer watchdog claimed that there were cancer-causing substances in 60 common brands of biscuits.

Cover image via Bernama/Malay Mail & jcomp/Freepik

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The Ministry of Health (MOH) has addressed the acrylamide and glycidol contamination issue brought up by the Hong Kong Consumer Council last week

The Hong Kong consumer watchdog released a report on 18 October about finding the two chemicals in 60 common brands of pre-packaged biscuits sold in the city.

The report raised fears as the council warned both the substances may induce cancer.

MOH said among the brands listed by the report included biscuits also manufactured in Malaysia, such as Hup Seng, Jacobs, and Julie's.

However, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that locally-produced biscuits contain acrylamide and glycidol levels lower than the recommended benchmark

In a statement today, 27 October, he said the average level of acrylamide in biscuits sold in the local market is 246mcg/kg, which is below the level set by the European Union's (EU) recommendation of 350mcg/kg.

He said this is based on the periodic assessments done by the MOH's Food Safety and Quality Division (FSQD) since 2015.

"FSQD has also conducted a risk assessment on acrylamide and glycidol in food and found that the health risk of acrylamide and glycidol through the consumption of biscuits is low," he added.

He acknowledged that the chemicals are still present in biscuits as they are produced during food processing

However, he noted that the level of the contaminants can be controlled by selecting appropriate raw materials and processes.

Noor Hisham assured that MOH is always concerned about food safety matters that may jeopardise the health of consumers, and encouraged concerned members of the public to contact them at their nearest state health departments or district health offices.

The Hong Kong Consumer Council tested 60 brands of biscuits sold in the city and released their results last week:

The Food Safety and Quality Division also recently assured the public that Ajinomoto is not made out of pork:

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