Soft ice-cream sample detected with total bacterial count exceeding legal limit

     The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) today (January 19) announced that a soft ice-cream sample was found to contain a total bacterial count exceeding the legal limit. Follow-up is in progress.

     "Subsequent to announcing that a sample of chocolate flavour soft ice-cream (product name: Mystery Black) taken from a light refreshment restaurant in Mong Kok was found to contain a total bacterial count and coliform bacteria exceeding the legal limits, the CFS detected a similar irregularity in another soft ice-cream sample of the same kind but of a different batch taken from the same retail outlet for testing during follow-up investigation. The test result showed that the sample contained a total bacterial count of 97 000 per gram, exceeding the legal limit," a spokesman for the CFS said.

     Under the Frozen Confections Regulation (Cap 132AC), each gram of frozen confection for sale should not contain more than 50 000 bacteria. The maximum penalty for offenders is a fine of $10,000 and three months' imprisonment upon conviction. The fact that the total bacterial 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 the vendor has already stopped selling all kinds of soft ice-cream according to CFS' instructions. The CFS has earlier provided health education on food safety and hygiene to the person-in-charge and staff of the vendor concerned, and has requested them to carry out thorough cleaning and disinfection. Should there be sufficient evidence, prosecution will be initiated. The above-mentioned unsatisfactory sample was taken before the vendor carried out thorough cleaning and disinfection," the spokesman said.

     The CFS will continue to follow up on the case and take appropriate action to safeguard food safety and public health.

Ends/Friday, January 19, 2018
Issued at HKT 15:00