Import and sale of raw oysters produced by French manufacturer Madec Yvon prohibited immediately

     The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department announced today (April 6) that the import into and sale within Hong Kong of raw oysters produced by a manufacturer in France, namely Madec Yvon, has been prohibited with immediate effect.

     A spokesman for the CFS said, "The CFS received a notification from the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) of the European Commission that the raw oysters produced by the above-mentioned manufacturer have tested positive for norovirus. According to the information provided by the RASFF, a small quantity of the affected product has been imported into Hong Kong and the French producer concerned has initiated a recall of the affected product. For the sake of prudence, the CFS has immediately banned the import into and sale within Hong Kong of all raw oysters produced by the manufacturer concerned. Its production plant is located in Lannilis, France."

     The CFS has followed up with the Hong Kong importer concerned. The importer confirmed that all affected batch of the raw oysters had been sold and there was no remaining stock.

     The spokesman pointed out that as oysters feed by filtering a large volume of seawater, pathogens (such as norovirus), chemical contaminants or natural toxins can accumulate in them if they are grown in or harvested from contaminated water. Regardless of the season or the region in which the oysters are harvested, consuming oysters, particularly raw or partially cooked ones, carries an inherent food safety risk. Susceptible groups, such as pregnant women, young children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems or liver diseases, should avoid eating raw oysters.

     The CFS has informed the French authorities of the import ban and will also notify the local trade. It will continue to follow up on the incident and take appropriate action to safeguard food safety and public health.

Ends/Wednesday, April 6, 2016
Issued at HKT 18:15