Food Safety Focus (84th Issue, July 2013) – Food Incident Highlight
Milk Product with Total Bacterial Count Exceeding Limit
Last month, the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) issued alerts to the public and the trade on a batch of Australian pasteurised milk product which was found to have a total bacterial count exceeding the legal limit under the regular Food Surveillance Programme. The CFS issued a warning letter to the importer and suspended importation of the product concerned. The importer has initiated a recall of the milk product. The Australian authorities were also informed by the CFS about the incident for their follow up action. The CFS will take further actions deemed necessary.
According to the Milk Regulation, milk after heat-treatment by means of pasteurisation should not contain more than 30,000 bacteria per millilitre. When the total bacterial count exceeds this legal limit, it indicates unsatisfactory hygienic conditions though it does not mean it would lead to food poisoning. The CFS advises consumers not to drink the affected product. The trade should ensure that all food for sale comply with the legal requirements.