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Rice vermicelli in soup with egg detected with salmonella

     The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) today (May 4) announced that a sample of rice vermicelli in soup with egg was found to contain a pathogen, Salmonella. The CFS has ordered the restaurant concerned to stop selling the affected dish, and to review and improve the food production process.

     A CFS spokesman said, "The CFS took a sample of rice vermicelli in soup with egg from a licensed general restaurant in Tin Shui Wai for testing under a targeted food surveillance project on Salmonella in ready-to-eat food of the Food Surveillance Programme. The test result showed the presence of Salmonella in 25 grams of the sample, exceeding the standard of the Microbiological Guidelines for Food which state that Salmonella should not be detected in 25 grams of food.

     "Salmonella can be found in eggs and food of animal origin. Undercooked eggs and egg products and food prepared with raw eggs have both been involved in overseas and local Salmonella food poisoning cases.  Since eggs are commonly consumed in our diet, the risk of contracting salmonellosis is relatively higher if a person frequently consumes undercooked eggs or food prepared with raw eggs. Therefore, the trade and the public should not take the risk lightly and should always maintain good personal and food hygiene to ensure food safety.

     "Salmonella infection may cause fever and gastrointestinal upset such as vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhoea. The effects on infants, young children, the elderly and patients with a weak immune system could be more severe and sometimes may even lead to death."

     The CFS has not received any reports of persons feeling unwell after consumption of the same dish at the premises concerned in the past three months.

     The spokesman said, "The CFS has informed the restaurant operator of the test result, and instructed the restaurant concerned to suspend sale of rice vermicelli in soup with egg, carry out thorough cleaning and disinfection as well as review and improve the food production process. The CFS will consider taking prosecution action.

     He added, "The FEHD will continue to closely monitor the situation and take appropriate follow-up action. To ensure food safety and safeguard public health, follow-up samples will be taken for testing once the restaurant resumes supply of the dish in question."

Ends/Monday, May 4, 2015
Issued at HKT 20:19


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