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Thursday, November 3, 2016, 20:58

More than 800 kg of hairy crabs recalled

By chinadailyasia.com

More than 800 kg of hairy crabs recalled
Crabs are on sale at a store in Causeway Bay in Hong Kong on Tuesday. (Parker Zheng / China Daily)

HONG KONG - Hong Kong's food safety authority on Thursday recalled more than 800 kilograms of hairy crabs after excessive levels of chemicals linked to cancer were found in some samples.

The authorities urged retailers who purchased the contaminated crabs to suspend sales

Further investigations and sample checks will be completed in two weeks, according to Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man.

The contaminated batch, found to contain 11.7 picograms and 40.3 picograms per gram of dioxins and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls respectively, was imported from two aquaculture farms in Jiangsu province.

The toxic chemical compounds can lead to reproductive and developmental problems. They can also damage people’s immune system, interfere with their hormones and cause cancer.

READ MORE: Crab delicacy?

According to the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) in Hong Kong, the acceptable level of the two chemicals contained in food is 6.5 picograms.

The authorities urged retailers who purchased the contaminated crabs to suspend sales.

The CFS is working with Jiangsu authorities to investigate how many different places the crabs come from and whether other crabs from these areas are safe to eat, the center’s controller Gloria Tam Lai-fan said.

She urged crab importers to provide proof that the crabs were safe to eat.

According to Hong Kong's regulation of imports, food has to go through three rounds of checks before it can be bought by consumers. These are: a food safety check by mainland authorities; a customs' check by Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department; and a sample test by the CFS.

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