Hong Kong: The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department has warned against eating a batch of dark chocolate as it contains benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) at levels exceeding European standards.
Dark chocolate bar 70% cocoa minimum branded Chocolaterie de l'Opera and manufactured by Barry Callebaut comes in 1kg per pack (five packs per box with a total weight of 5kg) and ebst before date 27 February 2017.
It was manufactured in Spain and contains raw materials from Indonesia.
Analytical results revealed 18.1 µg/kg - ppb of benzo(a)pyrene and 73.7 µg/kg - ppb of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, according to the RASFF portal.
It was distributed to Belgium, Canada, France, Indonesia, Italy, Norway, Romania, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, UAE and the UK.
The CFS followed up with the importer, Foodgears Industrial International, and learned that 16 boxes of the product (80kg in total) had been imported to Hong Kong. Some of it had been supplied to a local hotel, while the remaining stock of eight boxes has been voluntarily surrendered by the importer concerned to the CFS for disposal.
BaP is thought to probably cause lung and skin cancer in humans, according to Public Health England. Various cooking processes such as charbroiling, frying or grilling, as well as barbequing or smoking also increases the amount of PAHs in food.