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Hong Kong : Sample of made-to-order salad contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (November 15) noted that a sample of mixed vegetable ingredient of a made-to-order smoked salmon mixed vegetable salad was found to have been contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. Follow-up is in progress. A spokesman for the CFS said, "The CFS took the sample of smoked salmon mixed vegetable salad for testing from a licensed food premises in Sha Tin under a risk assessment study on microbiological quality of vegetables and vegetable salads. The result showed that the salad sample contained Listeria monocytogenes at a level of 2 400 per gram, exceeding the standard of the Microbiological Guidelines for Food which states that no more than 100 of the pathogen per gram should be detected."

The CFS has informed the premises concerned of the irregularity and instructed it to stop selling the food item in question immediately. The CFS has also provided health education on food safety and hygiene to the person-in-charge and staff of the premises. The premises have voluntarily suspended its business temporarily to carry out thorough cleaning and disinfection. The CFS is also tracing the sources of the ingredients of the affected food item.

"Listeria monocytogenes can be easily destroyed by cooking but can survive and multiply at refrigerator temperatures. Most healthy individuals do not develop symptoms or only have mild symptoms like fever, muscle pain, headache, nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea when infected. However, severe complications such as septicemia, meningitis or even death may occur in newborns, the elderly and those with a weaker immune system. Although infected pregnant women may just experience mild symptoms generally, the infection of Listeria monocytogenes may cause miscarriage, infant death, preterm birth or severe infection in newborns," the spokesman said. The CFS will continue to follow up on the incident and take appropriate action to safeguard food safety and public health. Investigation is ongoing.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Nov 16, 2016
Words:328
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