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Soft ice-cream sample detected with coliform count exceeding legal limit

     The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (August 17) announced that a sample of soft ice-cream, made upon order, was found to contain a coliform count exceeding the legal limit. Follow-up is in progress.

     A spokesman for the CFS said, "The centre collected a sample of soft ice-cream, made upon order, in original flavour from a retail outlet with a frozen confection factory licence in Kowloon City for testing under its regular Food Surveillance Programme. The test result showed that the sample contain a coliform count of 170 per gram, exceeding the legal limit."

     Under the Frozen Confections Regulation (Cap. 132 sub. leg. AC), each gram of frozen confection for sale should not contain more than 100 coliform organisms. The maximum penalty for offenders is a fine of $10,000 and three months' imprisonment upon conviction. The fact that the coliform count exceeded the legal limit indicated that the hygienic conditions were unsatisfactory, but did not mean that consumption would lead to food poisoning.

     "The CFS has informed the vendor concerned of the irregularity and instructed it to stop selling the affected soft ice-cream immediately. The Centre has also provided health education on food safety and hygiene for the person-in-charge and staff of the vendor concerned, and has requested the vendor to carry out thorough cleaning and disinfection. Should there be sufficient evidence, prosecution will be considered," the spokesman said.

     He urged members of the public to seek medical advice if they feel sick upon consumption of the product concerned.

     The CFS will follow up on the case closely and take appropriate actions including stepping up inspection to the vendor concerned to safeguard food safety and public health.

Ends/Monday, August 17, 2015
Issued at HKT 18:14


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