Ice-cream sample detected with coliform count exceeding legal limit

     The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) today (September 26) announced that an ice-cream sample was found to contain a coliform count exceeding the legal limit. Follow-up is in progress.

     "Subsequent to announcing that an ice-cream sample in dark chocolate flavour taken from a retail outlet in Central was found to contain a coliform count exceeding the legal limit, the CFS detected a similar irregularity in another ice-cream sample of the same flavour but of a different batch from the same retail outlet during follow-up investigation. The test result showed that the sample contained a coliform count of 510 per gram, exceeding the legal limit," a spokesman for the CFS said.

     Under the Frozen Confections Regulation (Cap 132 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. Prosecution will be instituted should there be sufficient evidence. The retail outlet concerned has suspended business for thorough cleaning and disinfection. The above-mentioned unsatisfactory sample was taken before the suspension of business," the spokesman said.

     The CFS will follow up on the case closely and take appropriate action to safeguard food safety and public health. Investigation is ongoing.

Ends/Monday, September 26, 2016
Issued at HKT 18:30