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CFS urges public not to consume prepackaged flour with possible E. coli contamination

     The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (July 6) urged the public not to consume a kind of prepackaged flour imported from the United States (US) as the product might have been contaminated with Escherichia coli (E. coli). The trade should also stop using or selling the product concerned immediately.

     A spokesman for the CFS said, "The CFS earlier advised the public to stop consuming and the trade to stop selling four batches of prepackaged flour produced by an American manufacturer, General Mills Inc, as the product, which was imported by the Hong Kong sole agent, might be contaminated with E. coli. The CFS found in further investigation that another local importer, City Super Limited, had also imported a batch of the affected product."

     Product details are as follows:

Product name: Gold Medal Unbleached Flour
Weight: 5 pounds per pack
Use-by date: May 22, 2017

     The spokesman noted that according to the information provided by the importer, the import quantity of the affected product was 136 packs, which were distributed only to its supermarket chain, with 80 packs being sold. The importer concerned has stopped selling and removed from shelves the affected product and initiated a recall according to the instructions of the CFS. Members of the public may call the company's hotline at 2736 3866 for enquiries during office hours about the recall.

     People contract E. coli, which is a gastro-intestinal infection, through consumption of contaminated water or undercooked and contaminated foods. Intestinal bleeding and serious complications such as hemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS) may also develop in some people. Moreover, due to poor personal hygiene, person-to-person transmission of this pathogen is possible through oral-faecal route. E. coli cannot survive under high temperature and can be killed by thorough cooking.

     The spokesman urged consumers not to consume the affected product. The trade should also stop using or selling the product concerned immediately.

     The CFS will alert the trade, continue to closely monitor the situation and take appropriate follow-up action. Investigation is ongoing.

Ends/Wednesday, July 6, 2016
Issued at HKT 19:44


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