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More importers of a French raw sheep's milk cheese contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes found

     The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (May 11) noted that subsequent to last week's announcement that a Hong Kong importer had imported batches of French PERAIL raw sheep's milk cheese which might have been contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, a pathogen, further information pointed out that another two importers had imported the concerned product. For the sake of prudence, the CFS again urged the public not to consume the affected product. The trade should also stop using or selling the product concerned immediately.

     Details of the product are as follows:

Product name: Raw milk cheese from sheep "PERAIL"
Place of origin: France
Manufacture date: between March 15 and April 2, 2015

     "The Centre received a notification from the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) of the European Commission earlier on that certain batches of PERAIL raw sheep's milk cheese which were found to have been contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, had been imported into Hong Kong. Acting on information, the Centre has contacted the concerned importer and instructed it to stop selling or using the product and alerted the trade to the incident. Further information was received today from the RASFF that another two Hong Kong importers had imported the concerned product (The best before dates of the concerned product were April 28 or May 17, 2015). The Centre has also immediately contacted the importers and instructed them to stop selling and recall the affected product and trace the distribution of the food," a spokesman for the CFS said.

     "Listeria monocytogenes can be easily destroyed by cooking but can survive and multiply at refrigerator temperature. 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, 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 the newborns," the spokesman said.

     He urged members of the public to stop consuming the affected batch of product if they have purchased it, and to seek medical advice if they feel sick upon consumption.

     The CFS will continue to follow up the case and take appropriate actions.

Ends/Monday, May 11, 2015
Issued at HKT 21:47


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