Ma Ling luncheon meat safe, says AVA after high sodium levels, antibiotics found in Hong Kong meat products

Test results for Ma Ling brand luncheon meat show that it meets AVA's food safety standards, amidst reports of high sodium levels being found in meat products in Hong Kong.
Test results for Ma Ling brand luncheon meat show that it meets AVA's food safety standards, amidst reports of high sodium levels being found in meat products in Hong Kong.PHOTO: APPLE DAILY

SINGAPORE - The Ma Ling brand of luncheon meat sold here meets Singapore's food safety standards, said the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) after reports surfaced of high sodium levels found in meat products in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong's Consumer Council said in a statement on Thursday (June 15) that it tested samples from 25 luncheon meat brands and eight canned sausage brands and found that most of the samples were high in sodium and fat content.

The tests also found veterinary drug residues, containing antibiotics, in one luncheon meat sample. One sausage sample yielded sodium content exceeding the labelled amount by 560 times.

Although the Shanghai-based Ma Ling brand was not listed in the Consumer Council's news release on its website, Hong Kong reports have named Ma Ling brand as one of the brands tested.

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AVA said in a Facebook post on Friday (June 16) night that test results for Ma Ling brand luncheon meat show it meets AVA's food safety standards.

"We would like to assure the public that meat and meat products, including canned luncheon meat, are subjected to AVA's inspections and sampling for compliance with our food safety standards and requirements," said AVA.

It added that its tests cover a wide range of chemical contaminants and microbial contaminants such as antibiotics and salmonella.

The findings made by Hong Kong's Consumer Council were handed over to the Centre for Food Safety for follow-up actions.

Luncheon meat and sausages are commonly eaten in Hong Kong.

The sodium content found in the 25 luncheon meat samples ranged from 517mg per 100g to 1,180mg per 100g, with an average of 718mg per 100g.

World Health Organisation guidelines recommend that the daily intake of sodium should not exceed 2,000mg.