If you haven’t heard, the Consumer Council of Hong Kong recently found traces of antibiotics in Maling luncheon meat when it ran a test on 25 luncheon meat brands and 8 sausage brands. Check out the article here.
Animal drug residues in the form of antibiotics sulfadimidine and amounting to 0.1993 milligram per kilogram were found in the sample of Maling luncheon meat tested.
Before you panic, an adult weighing 70 kg has to eat about 17.5kg or 44 cans of Maling luncheon meat to reach the daily intake limit of 0.05 milligram per kilogram of a person’s weight as advised by the World Health Organisation (WHO). This is almost impossible.
According to WHO, if you have a body weight of 70kg, your daily intake of sulfadimidine should not exceed 0.05mg x 70kg = 3.5mg.
To take in 3.5mg of sulfadimidine, you will need to consume about 17.5kg of Maling luncheon meat, given that 1kg of the luncheon meat contains 0.1993mg of sulfadimidine.
At the same time, Dr Ho Pak-Leung of the University of Hong Kong’s department of microbiology noted that sulfadimidine may still lead to allergic reactions for around 3 to 6 per cent of people, who could develop symptoms such as hives, rash and swollen face after eating these processed meat products.
Thankfully, local retailers who spoke with Channel 8 clarified that Maling luncheon meat imported to Singapore are not produced from the same factory as those sold in Hong Kong.
Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority also confirmed that the Maling luncheon meat has passed its inspections checks and meets its food safety standards.
While it is safe for consumption, given the high salt content found in them, you are still advised to eat such meat products in moderation.
In the meantime, bring on those spam fries!