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Food Safety Focus (215th Issue, June 2024) – Article 3

Beware of the Food Safety Risk of Sandwiches

In May 2024, there were suscepted bacterial food poisoning cases linked to the consumption of sandwiches called “bánh mì” from a food premises in Vietnam. The blood test of victims showed the presence of Escherichia coli, which is a bacterium that can be found in fresh produce like beef, cheese and fruit. Media reported that the high ambient temperature could also favour bacterial growth in food.

Sandwiches are regarded as a high risk food, as they are often handled manually during preparation, which increases the possibility of cross-contamination. They may also contain perishable ingredients that can get contaminated with bacteria if they are not handled properly. The trade should provide appropriate and adequate refrigeration facilities in retail outlets, and store or display sandwiches at 4°C or below. The public should purchase food including sandwiches from licensed food permises. Sandwiches should be consumed immediately or kept at a safe temperature after purchase or preparation.