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CFS urges the public not to consume three kinds of Irish cheese suspected to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (November 7) urged the public not to consume certain batches of three kinds of cheese imported from the Ireland due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes, a pathogen. The trade should stop using or selling the products concerned immediately if they possess them.

Details of the products are as follows:

1. Product name: ORGANIC IRISH CHEDDAR CHEESE
Brand: THE LITTLE MILK CO
Place of origin: Ireland
Manufacturer: Irish Organic Milk Producers Ltd.
Net weight: 135 gram per pack
Best before date: October 30, 2017

2. Product name: ORGANIC IRISH CHEDDAR CHEESE - Vintage
Brand: THE LITTLE MILK CO
Place of origin: Ireland
Manufacturer: Irish Organic Milk Producers Ltd.
Net weight:120 gram per pack
Best before date: November 19, 2017

3. Product name: ORGANIC IRISH CHEDDAR CHEESE - Mature
Brand: THE LITTLE MILK CO
Place of origin: Ireland
Manufacturer: Irish Organic Milk Producers Ltd.
Net weight: 135 gram per pack
Best before dates: October 20, 2017, December 22, 2017

"The Centre, through its Food Incident Surveillance System, noted a notice issued by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland that some batches of cheese manufactured in the Ireland might have been contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes and the affected products are being recalled. The CFS immediately contacted major local importers and retailers for follow-up. Preliminary investigation found that some of the affected products had been imported into Hong Kong by a local importer, City Super Limited," a spokesman for the CFS said.

The spokesman said that according to the information provided by the importer, a total of about 62 kilograms of the affected products had been imported into Hong Kong and some of the products were sold at its chain supermarkets . The importer concerned has removed from shelves and stopped sale of the affected batches of products according to the CFS' instructions. It will surrender the remaining stock for CFS' disposal and initiate a recall. Members of the public may call the importer's hotline at 2736 3866 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 products. The trade should also stop using or selling the product concerned immediately if they possess them.

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/Tuesday, November 7, 2017

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Last revision date: 07-11-2017