Tips for Purchase and Consumption of Snowy Mooncakes


  The market is abundant with mooncakes, varying in flavours and presentation, with Mid-Autumn Festival fast approaching. Amongst the available options, snowy mooncakes have gained great popularity over recent years to become one of the well sought-after festive food products. Unlike their traditional counterparts whose fillings contain lotus seed paste or bean paste, the increasingly exceptional flavours, colourful appearance and innovative ingredients of snowy mooncakes have made them a favourite choice of consumers. But for some overseas well-known branded snowy mooncakes which are not available for sale in Macao as they lack proper agents for their distribution, many local residents would purchase them through online shopping or buying-on-your-behalf agents from surrounding regions. This inevitably heightens the potential food safety hazards.


Food safety concerns about snowy mooncakes:

  Snowy mooncakes that come with different types of fillings, ranging from fresh fruit like durian paste and diced mangoes to lava custard and ice-cream, are not subject to high-temperature baking after they are moulded. If they have beenexposed to microbial contamination during the manufacturing process and are subsequently stored and transported at room temperature, microorganisms will multiply profusely and cause spoilage. Consumption of spoiled mooncakes may lead to gastrointestinal discomfort.


  Hence, cold storage is another decisive factor in ensuring food safety of snowy mooncakes besides that of their raw ingredients and hygiene requirements applicable to their preparation. It ought to be adopted throughout the production, transportation, wholesale, retail and storage of snowy mooncakes. As for consumers, they should transport the purchased snowy mooncakes under low temperature and never leave them at room temperature for over two hours. Otherwise, their appearance and texture become affected and the associated food safety risk is increased.


Think twice before ordering mooncakes from overseas via buying-on-your-behalf agents:

  Many well-known foreign brands of mooncakes have gained popularity among consumers of Macao over recent years. But when some of them are in short supply or their manufacturers do not have any agents for their distribution in the local market, consumers and business dealers of Macao opt to acquire them through online shopping or buying-on-your-behalf agents. However, it is important for consumers to spend some time on the following questions or make enquiries to the buying-on-your-behalf agents before purchase to better understand the condition of products.


  • Are the buying-on-your-behalf agents able to provide supporting documents from original manufacturers or any sales documents to ensure that the merchandise available for sale is genuine products from original manufacturers?
  • In case of disputes, is it possible to hold the overseas original manufacturers concerned legally responsible?
  • Do the buying-on-your-behalf agents place the food products under refrigerated (4°C or below) transportation/shipping?
  • Upon arrival in Macao, how would the food products be stored and delivered?
  • Do the buying-on-your-behalf agents provide sufficient product information and respective food safety measures to safeguard consumer rights and interests?

  If the buying-on-your-behalf agents are incapable of giving a reasonable answer to the questions, consumers have to beware of the associated food safety risk and understand their consumer rights and interests. Members of the public must be cautious and sensible in their purchases.


Food Safety Department's advice for consumers:

  • Try to know whether or not the concerned shop is a qualified dealer. Buy snowy mooncakes from retail shops fitted with refrigeration equipment;
  • Upon purchase, check whether the snowy mooncakes are frozen and solid. Never buy those that are thawing or not kept under appropriate storage temperature;
  • Read the label on the package, pay attention to the expiry date and follow the storage instruction on the label;
  • Keep the purchased snowy mooncakes under refrigeration at 4°C or below and ice-cream mooncakes at -18°C or below promptly;
  • Snowy mooncakes should be consumed as soon as possible after their packages have been unsealed, and never leave them at room temperature for over two hours. 

Learn more:

  • In accordance with Law No. 3/2016 “Amendment to Law No. 7/2003 - External Trade Law” and Chief Executive Writ of Instruction No. 209/2021, when a business involves the import of particular food items from places outside Macao, the import items are subject to import declaration to competent authorities and hygiene inspection. Otherwise, the concerned party shall be subject to legal liabilities according to law.
  • Since some mooncakes contain ingredients like egg yolk or meat, competent authorities of different countries worldwide may restrict the entry of these mooncakes into their countries based on their own inspection and quarantine requirements. Residents are reminded to take note of regulations enforced in different countries to avoid unnecessary losses caused by sending food products to overseas friends or relatives that are subject to declaration and inspection of the destination country.