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Food Safety Focus (98th Issue, September 2014) – Food Incident Highlight

Listeria in Danish Sausage

Last month, the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration announced that rullepølse, a kind of pork sausage served as cold cut meat, made by Jørn A. Rullepølser A/S in Demark was withdrawn from sale because of possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. In this incident, 20 people were reported to be affected, of which 12 patients with serious underlying medical conditions died. The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) immediately contacted the relevant authorities and found no evidence indicating the affected product had been imported into Hong Kong. For the sake of prudence, the CFS alerted the trade and the public of the incident.

Listeria monocytogenes is a bacterium commonly found in soil and water. It can be easily destroyed by cooking but can survive and multiply at refrigerator temperature. Although healthy people develop few or no symptoms when infected, Listeria monocytogenes could be dangerous to pregnant women, newborns, the elderly and people with low immunity.

The CFS advises consumers who have recently bought the pork sausage concerned abroad or online should stop consuming it. The CFS will continue to closely monitor the situation and liaise with relevant authorities to follow up on the incident.