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Food Alert - A batch of French raw cow's milk cheese contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes

Issue Date


Source of Information

Notification from the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed of the European Commission

Food Product

Raw cow's milk cheese

Product name and Description

Place of origin: France
Best before date: May 30, 2015

Reason For Issuing Alert

- The CFS received a notification from the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) of the European Commission that the above-mentioned batch of raw cow's milk cheese was found to have been contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. According to the information provided by the RASFF, the French producer concerned has initiated a recall of the affected product and a small volume of the affected product has been imported into Hong Kong.

- Listeria monocytogenes can be easily destroyed by cooking but can survive and multiply at refrigerator temperature. Most healthy individuals do not develop symptoms or only have mild symptoms like fever, muscle pain, headache, nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea when infected. However, severe complications such as septicemia, meningitis or even death may occur in newborns, elderly and those with a weaker immune system. Although infected pregnant women may just experience mild symptoms generally, the infection of Listeria monocytogenes may cause miscarriage, infant death, preterm birth, or severe infection in the newborns.

Action Taken by the Centre for Food Safety

- The CFS has immediately contacted the Hong Kong importer as notified by the RASFF, The House of Fine Foods Ltd, to trace the distribution of the food concerned. According to the information provided by the importer concerned, it had been notified by its supplier earlier on. All affected product (about 1.2 kg) had been disposed of and did not enter the local market.

Advice to the Trade

- Stop using or selling the product concerned immediately.

Advice to Consumers

- Stop consuming the affected batch of product if they have purchased it.

- Seek medical advice if they feel sick upon consumption.

Further Information

The CFS press release

Centre for Food Safety
Food and Environmental Hygiene Department

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