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Food Safety Focus (97th Issue, August 2014) – Food Incident Highlight

E. coli O26:H11 in Raw Goat Milk Cheese from France

In mid-July, the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) received a notification from the International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) of the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations that a raw goat milk cheese, imported from France on 16 June, was contaminated by E. coli O26:H11. The CFS immediately contacted the importers concerned in Hong Kong and instructed them to stop supply of the affected batch of the product. The CFS also issued a food alert warning the public not to consume the affected product.

E. coli is part of the common flora found in intestines of animals and humans. A majority of its strains are non-pathogenic, whilst some are pathogenic. E. coli O26 is one of the strains which can cause serious illness in humans.

Consumers should not consume the affected batch of the product concerned. They are advised to seek medical advice if feeling sick after consuming the product concerned.