The Municipal Affairs Bureau (IAM) continuously carries out food safety supervision and sampling tests to assess the consumption risks of food products available on the market and their hygiene conditions. A total of 553 food samples on the market were randomly collected in the second quarter of this year for tests, resulting in an overall pass rate of 99.6%.
The 553 food samples randomly collected for tests in the second quarter included 340 samples of general food products available on the market and 213 food samples from the catering sector, with the sampling locations covering food establishments, takeaway shops, supermarkets, grocery stores, shopping centres, etc. in different districts of Macao. IAM carried out tests on the food samples concerned, including microbiological tests of common pathogenic bacteria such as Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes and Bacillus cereus; chemical tests of heavy metals, food additives and prohibited substances, among others; and radiological tests of radioactive substances such as isotopes of caesium and iodine.
Among the food samples collected for tests in the second quarter, a sample of dried geoduck was tested to contain excessive sulphur dioxide, in violation of the stipulations of Administrative Regulation no. 7/2019 “Standards for Use of Preservatives and Antioxidants in Food”. In addition, a sample of soy milk collected from a takeaway shop was tested to contain excessive Bacillus cereus, failing to comply with the requirements of the “Microbiological Guidelines for Ready-to-eat Food” (GL 009 DAS 2015) in Macao. IAM has taken measures in relation to the aforementioned problematic cases. The establishments involved were requested to suspend the supply and sale of the products and to fully review and reorganise the food handling process and the hygiene conditions of the staff. Furthermore, IAM issued press releases to announce the issues and sent staff to carry out re-inspections and re-tests to ensure food safety. No abnormality was found in the test results of the remaining 551 samples.
In order to prevent and reduce food safety risks, IAM reminds food operators to comply with the “Food Safety Law” and the relevant regulations in their operation. IAM continuously carries out food safety supervision and sampling tests, as well as the hygiene inspections of establishments. Once a potential food safety risk is identified, prevention and control measures, such as detention or destruction of unqualified food products and ordering the suspension of business for reorganisation, will be adopted depending on the risk level and in accordance with the “Food Safety Law”. The routine food surveillance results for the second quarter of this year have already been uploaded to the Food Safety Information website of IAM (www.foodsafety.gov.mo) and the Food Safety Information mobile application for public reference.