Consumer Council warns against meat laced with antibiotics

December 08, 2015 14:46
The Consumer Council is asking restaurant operators to stop serving meat and poultry if they suspect these have been plied with antibiotics. Photos: HKEJ, Bloomberg

Hong Kong's consumer watchdog is warning restaurants against serving meat and poultry laced with antibiotics.

It sent letters to nine fast-food chain operators to warn them about the improper use of antibiotics to produce heftier meat, Ming Pao Daily reports.

These are McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Subway, Tsui Wah Restaurant, Yoshinoya Hong Kong, Maxims MX, Café de Coral, Fairwood and Tai Hing.

The Consumer Council asked them to stop serving meat and poultry if they suspect these have been plied with antibiotics. 

Gilly Wong, chief executive of the council, said some meat producers misuse antibiotics to boost production.

World Health Organization data shows the farm and livestock industry accounts for half of antibiotic consumption.

About 63,000 tons of antibiotics were used worldwide in 2010 and estimates put the figure at 105,600 tons by 2030.

Dr. Ho Pak-leung, director of the infectious diseases unit in the University of Hong Kong, welcomed the Consumer Council's move.

He said antibiotics for treating sick animals are similar to those used in humans.

Their random use or misuse in meat production could give rise to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, posing a serious hazard to public health.

Café de Coral said it is concerned and pledged to tighten its supply chain.

And McDonald’s said it has been implementing a global policy regarding the use of antibiotics in animals since 2003.

The Center for Food Safety said it examined more than 880 food samples for traces of antibiotics between January and June this year.

The results were satisfactory, it said.

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