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Consumers urged not to consume a kind of cheese with truffle suspected to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (June 2) urged the public not to consume a kind of cheese with truffle imported from the Netherlands, as the product might have been contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, a pathogen. The trade should also stop using or selling the product concerned immediately if they possess it.

"The Centre received a notification from the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) of the European Commission that a kind of cheese with truffle manufactured in the Netherlands was suspected to have been contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes and the affected product is being recalled. According to the information provided by the RASFF, a small volume of the affected product has been imported into Hong Kong," a spokesman for the CFS said.

The spokesman said that based on the information provided by the RASFF, some of the affected product had been imported into Hong Kong by a local importer, The Dutch Limited. Upon learning of the incident, the CFS has immediately contacted the importer concerned for follow-up. According to the information provided by the importer, a total of about 84 kilograms of the above affected product had been imported into Hong Kong and distributed to two of its retail outlets and three city'super supermarkets for sale in loose packs with sticker "the dutch cheese and more". The importer and the supermarkets concerned have removed from shelves and stopped sale of the affected product according to the CFS’ instructions. The importer is also recalling the affected product. Members of the public may call the importer's hotline at 3543 0081 during office hours for enquiries about the recall.

"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," the spokesman said.

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

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

Ends/Friday, June 2, 2017

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Last revision date: 02-06-2017