Hong Kong health authorities clamp down on five unlicensed online mooncake sellers

Stores were located in Sai Kung, Sheung Shui, Kwai Chung and Tai Po, with four of them operated as family-run workshops

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 September, 2016, 8:57am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 14 September, 2016, 9:21am

The city’s health authorities have prosecuted five food factories for selling mooncakes online without licences.

The Centre for Food Safety said the five venues were located in Sai Kung, Sheung Shui, Kwai Chung and Tai Po, with four of them operated as family-run workshops.

The businesses were detected as the centre enhanced monitoring of online sale of mooncakes, including snowy mooncakes, in the past month ahead of the Mid-Autumn Festival, which falls on Thursday this year.

Mooncake scare is a Mid-Autumn Festival tradition

Under the Food Business Regulation, any person who conducts any food business which involves the preparation of food for sale for human consumption off premises must obtain a food factory licence.

For online sale of restricted food listed in the Regulation, such as sushi and sashimi, relevant licences or written permission should be obtained from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department under a licensing scheme which came into effect in February.

Mooncakes are not restricted.

Operating an unlicensed food business or selling restricted foods without permission is liable on conviction to a maximum fine of HK$50,000 and imprisonment for six months. A daily fine of HK$900 may also be imposed.

The department reminded the public to pay attention to the safety issues and inherent risks of purchasing food online.

It appealed to the public to report unlicensed food business activities by calling 1823 or its hotline at 2868 0000.