|March 10, 2005,
as reported by just-food.com: Hong Kong is not
prepared to handle potential health risks and needs to
bring its practices more in line with western countries,
a consultant for the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department
(FEHD) reportedly told a Hong Kong newspaper.
"We are a little bit behind,'' said Dr Ho Yuk-yin,
consultant for the department's community medicine program.
“We are trying to catch up.”
In order to improve its ability to handle potential
health crises , the FEHD will conduct a territory-wide
survey to poll dietary and food consumption habits.
The year-long survey of people aged 20 to 84 will start
today (March 10).
The survey will fill in gaps in Hong Kong's knowledge
of general chemical risks in food sold everywhere, said
“Before, we did a bit of guessing or used other
people's data,” said Ho. That limited insight
into actual food safety concerns and was not scientific
enough to formulate policies for food and health protection,
Explaining the FEHD survey, Ho said: “Once you've
got this data set, you can address any problems. Combining
[knowledge about chemicals in foods] with food consumption
data, you can assess the dietary exposure of any chemical
of interest,” he said.
Ho said Hong Kong lacked an adequate and exact risk-assessment
database that would allow easier handling of problems
with the territory's food.
The Chinese University of Hong Kong has been commissioned
to conduct the survey. The results will be presented