Three restaurants have stopped serving fresh tuna after samples of their products were found to contain mercury levels in excess of the legal limit, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department identified the establishments as the Sushi Express branch at Tsuen Fat Building in Tsuen Wan, Flame Japanese Cuisine on Minden Avenue in Tsim Sha Tsui, and Sushi Tokumi at Greenfield Court in Sha Tin.
A CFS spokesman said the center recently followed up on the cases referred by a relevant organization and collected samples of tuna sashimi from the restaurants.
The test results showed that the samples all contained mercury at levels that exceed the legal limit of 0.5 parts per million (ppm), with the highest at 1.6 ppm, or more than three times the acceptable level.
The spokesman said the CFS is tracing the sources of the affected products, and prosecution will be instituted if there is sufficient evidence of violation of the law.
Under the Food Adulteration (Metallic Contamination) Regulations (Cap 132V), any person who sells food with metallic contamination above the legal limit may be prosecuted and is liable upon conviction to a maximum fine of HK$50,000 and imprisonment for six months.
“Mercury may affect the nervous system, particularly the developing brain. At high levels of consumption, mercury can affect fetal brain development, and affect vision, hearing, muscle coordination and memory in adults,” the CFS spokesman said.
Some international organizations, such as the World Health Organization, have pointed out that “consuming predatory fish species is the main source of mercury intake for human beings”, he added.
– Contact us at [email protected]