SINGAPORE: Samples and tests of shellfish imported from Malaysia meets Singapore’s food safety requirements for heavy metals, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) said on Tuesday (Apr 9).
Responding to CNA’s queries, the agency said that Singapore imported about 40 per cent of its shellfish, including live, chilled, frozen crustaceans and molluscs, from Malaysia last year.
The rest of its shellfish imports are from countries including China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam.
SFA’s response comes in the wake of reports about the potential risk of heavy metal poisoning from eating shellfish from the Straits of Malacca.
A team of scientists from Malaysia found high concentrations of heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, plumbum (lead) and mercury in the Straits of Malacca during a scientific voyage on Mar 13-22.
The findings, published on Tuesday, showed that the waters off Johor, Port Klang and Pulau Pinang presented a higher risk of heavy metal contamination.
READ: Risk of heavy metal poisoning from eating shellfish from Straits of Malacca: Malaysia scientists
“Samples and tests of shellfish from Malaysia met our food safety requirements for heavy metals,” SFA told CNA.
“While tests of shellfish from Malaysia meet our food safety requirements, shellfish accumulate environmental contaminants and naturally will have some levels of heavy metals. Therefore, to avoid exposure to high levels of heavy metals through consumption, consumers should eat shellfish in moderation,” it added.
Imported food, including shellfish, are inspected and sampled at the point of import or at retail markets for compliance with food safety requirements, the agency stated.
Tests cover a wide range of food-borne hazards including chemical contaminants such as pesticides, heavy metals and drug residue, as well as microorganisms such as E coli, Salmonella and Listeria.