IAM announces the results of targeted surveillance of commercially available prepared food and all samples have passed the tests


The Municipal Affairs Bureau (IAM) has carried out a targeted surveillance by testing random samples of prepared food sold in Macao. All samples have passed the tests and no abnormalities were found in the results. The surveillance report was announced at the “food safety expert symposium" held on 7 June, and relevant information was shared with representatives of the food safety regulatory authorities of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao, experts and scholars, and the food industry who participated in the symposium, in order for all stakeholders to understand the latest market development and regulatory trends and jointly enhance food safety levels.
In recent years, as modern life becomes increasingly fast-paced, prepared food has become a new focus for consumers and the food and beverage industry as it can be reheated and picked up quickly, gaining popularity in domestic and foreign markets. The production hygiene and food safety of prepared food products have also attracted much attention. Many factors can affect the safety of prepared food, such as contamination of food ingredients, environmental pollution, handling methods, manual operations, etc. In order to understand the food safety situation of the prepared food sold in Macao, IAM has collected a total of 90 random samples of prepared food on the local market, including salt-baked chicken, fish with pickled vegetable, crayfish, etc., for testing of food additives, heavy metals and plasticisers. According to the different cooking methods used, the samples of prepared food were also tested for banned or non-edible substances such as Sudan red, dimethyl yellow, borax or boric acid. All prepared food product samples have passed the tests, and no abnormalities were found in the results.
Clearly informing consumers of consumption instructions
IAM reminds the industry and the public that when purchasing prepared food products, they should pay attention to the expiry dates and whether the packaging is intact, and store them properly according to the instructions on the labels. They should heat them properly when eating, and pay attention to whether the packaging contains plastic that is not suitable for heating, to avoid increasing the risk of food contamination with plasticisers caused by improper handling. In addition, if members of the food industry are engaged in the production or sale of prepared food products, in addition to complying with the requirements of good food production practices, they should also make sure the packaging of prepared food products have clear food labels with information such as food ingredients, storage methods, expiry dates, detailed thawing instructions, consumption methods, etc., so that consumers can use them correctly. If the prepared food products they produce are to be exported to other regions, they must pay attention to the laws, regulations and product specifications of the destination of export, and process the relevant formalities as soon as possible.
Members of the local industry that produce and sell prepared food can also refer to the “Trade Guidelines on the Use and Preparation of Prepared Food" and other relevant food safety guidelines published by IAM. Details can be found on the “Trade Guidelines" page of the Food Safety Information website. IAM will continue to pay attention to the consumption risks and hygienic conditions of the food circulating in the market to maintain food safety in Macao. The results of the targeted food surveillance have been uploaded to the Food Safety Information website www.foodsafety.gov.mo