Food Standards Agency in UK Issues Notice Regarding Chloramphenical in Chinese Royal Jelly

Text of Alert:

Category B: For Action

Further to the Category B Food Hazard Warning (Ref: 05/2002 Chloramphenicol in Chinese Honey) issued on 19 February 2002, tests on Royal Jelly have revealed traces of the antibiotic chloramphenicol.

It is not clear as to the country of origin of the six samples that tested positive, but it is understood that a significant proportion of Royal Jelly comes from China.

Royal Jelly is a product made by bees for the nourishment of the queen bee. It is sold as a nutritional supplement normally in the form of capsules.

It is illegal for Royal Jelly to contain any residues of chloramphenicol and it has been banned by the EU for use on animals since 1994.

All Royal Jelly capsules, sold as a nutritional supplement should be withdrawn from sale unless the retailer has evidence that they are not contaminated with chloramphenicol or can demonstrate that they do not contain Royal Jelly from China.

Action to be taken by local authorities:
As in the case of the honey recall, Food Authorities are asked to contact local retailers.

The local media can be an effective means of contacting large numbers of businesses quickly.

Businesses are requested to withdraw all Royal Jelly sold as a nutritional supplement unless the business has evidence that the products are not contaminated with chloramphenicol or do not contain Royal Jelly from China.

Additional Information
Local Authorities will wish to be aware that from the 14 March 2002 imports of products of animal origin from China (subject to a few exceptions; Part 2.2 of the EC Decision refers) are prohibited as laid down in ‘Commission Decision 2002/69/EC of 30 January 2002 - concerning certain protective measures with regard to the products of animal origin imported from China’.

It is expected that action by local authorities will be initiated as soon as possible after receipt of this food hazard warning.

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