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CFS urges public not to consume prepackaged salad products which might be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (March 10) urged the public not to consume certain kinds of prepackaged salad products imported from New Zealand as the products might have been contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, a pathogen. The trade should also stop using or selling the products concerned immediately should they possess them.

Details of the products are as follows:

Batch number: 857723

1) Product name: LEADERBRAND Fancy Leaf Continental
Best before date: March 15, 2017

2) Product name: LEADERBRAND Tender Mesclun
Best before date: March 14, 2017

3) Product name: LEADERBRAND Farm Fresh Ranchslaw
Best before date: March 14, 2017

Batch number: 858294

1) Product name: LEADERBRAND Baby Spinach
Best before date: March 17, 2017

2) Product name: LEADERBRAND Fancy Leaf Continental
Best before date: March 17, 2017

3) Product name: LEADERBRAND Super Kale
Best before date: March 17, 2017

4) Product name: LEADERBRAND Tender Mesclun
Best before date: March 18, 2017

A CFS spokesman said, "The CFS has received a notification from the New Zealand authorities that certain kinds of prepackaged salad products produced by a New Zealand manufacturer, LeaderBrand Produce Ltd, might have been contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes and the manufacturer is recalling the affected products. According to the information provided by the New Zealand authorities, the above-mentioned seven kinds of affected products have been imported to Hong Kong by an importer, Lee Fish Asia Limited."

The spokesman said that upon learning of the incident, the CFS immediately followed up with the importer concerned. The importer confirmed that about 39 kilograms of the above-mentioned products have been imported to Hong Kong and were only supplied to city'super supermarket for sale. The supermarket concerned has already stopped sale and removed from shelves the affected products. The importer has also initiated a recall. For enquiries about the recall, members of the public may call Lee Fish Asia Limited hotline at 2898 0520 during office hours."

The CFS will alert the trade to the incident and urge them to stop using or selling the affected batches of the products immediately should they still possess them.

"Listeria monocytogenes can be easily destroyed by cooking but can survive and multiply at refrigerator temperatures. 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, the 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," the spokesman said.

He urged members of the public to stop consuming the affected products if they have purchased any, and to seek medical advice if they feel sick upon consumption.

The CFS will continue to closely monitor the situation and take appropriate action to safeguard food safety and public health.

Ends/Friday, March 10, 2017

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Last revision date: 10-03-2017