Malaysian mooncakes

SINGAPORE: The Singapore Food Authority has taken action to recall mooncakes from two Malaysian brands, Joymom’s and Fragrance, due to the presence of harmful bacteria and toxins exceeding regulatory limits.

The affected mooncakes originating from Malaysia include:

Joymom’s Musang King Snowskin Mooncake

  • Expiry date: 05/03/2024
  • Country of origin: Malaysia
  • Importer: Taste Right Pte Ltd
Joymom's mooncake
Photo: SFA

Fragrance’s Single Yolk Lotus Paste Baked Mooncake

  • Expiry date:20/10/2023
  • Country of origin: Malaysia
  • Importer: Fragrance Foodstuff Pte Ltd
Fragrance's mooncake
Photo: SFA

The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) revealed that testing had identified Staphylococcus aureus in Joymom’s mooncake and a significant quantity of aflatoxins in the Fragrance mooncake. These contaminants exceeded the maximum limits stipulated by Singapore’s Food Regulations.

In a recent media release, the SFA stated, “As a precautionary measure, SFA has directed the respective importers, Taste Right Pte Ltd and Fragrance Foodstuff Pte Ltd, to recall the implicated products. The recall is ongoing.”

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Staphylococcus aureus is a bacteria commonly found in the environment and the skin and or nose of a person. This bacteria is a common cause of food poisoning, providing symptoms like nausea, stomach cramps, and diarrhoea.

According to SFA, “Foodborne pathogens like S. aureus can be introduced during the production process when cross-contamination occurs, particularly when good hand hygiene is not practised.”

Aflatoxins can be present in foods because of fungal contamination. Aflatoxins are common in foods like cereals, oilseeds, nuts, and other agricultural crops such as corn, peanuts, cottonseed, and tree nuts.

According to the European Food Safety Authority, “Climate change is expected to have an impact on the presence of aflatoxins in food.”

Aflatoxins are also known to be genotoxic, meaning they harm a person’s DNA or genes. It is also carcinogenic, so exposure to this toxin should be kept low.

The SFA advises consumers who have purchased the affected mooncake products to refrain from consuming them. If consumers have already consumed these products and are concerned about their health, they are urged to seek medical advice and contact the sellers for further inquiries.

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For more information on the safety of mooncakes, you can check the SFA website.