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Food Safety Focus ( 103rd Issue, February 2015 ) – Food Incident Highlight

Bacillus cereus in Bottled Fermented Beancurd

Last month, food surveillance conducted by the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) revealed three kinds of bottled fermented beancurd had been contaminated with Bacillus cereus . The CFS has instructed the traders concerned stop selling the affected products, traced the source and distribution of the food items in question, and alerted the trade and the public of the incidents.

Bacillus cereus is a foodborne pathogen ubiquitous in the environment. It can form heat-resistant spores and produce toxin which cannot be destroyed by cooking. Consuming food contaminated with Bacillus cereus may cause food poisoning with symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhoea.

Unhygienic conditions in food processing and improper storage may give rise to the growth of Bacillus cereus . Members of the trade are advised to observe Good Manufacturing Practice and implement the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) system in food production and processing. Consumers should stop eating the affected products and seek medical advice if they feel sick upon consumption.