Batch of bottled preserved bean curd contaminated with Bacillus cereus

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (April 1) urged the public not to consume a batch of bottled preserved bean curd which has been contaminated with Bacillus cereus. The trade should also stop selling the affected batch of the product immediately.

Details of the product are as follows:

Product name: Giant Tree salted bean curd cubes
in brine with chili
(with sesame oil)
Place of origin: China
Best before date: March 1, 2017
Net weight: 130 grams

"The sample was collected at a supermarket in Yuen Long for testing under the CFS' regular Food Surveillance Programme. The test result showed that the sample contained Bacillus cereus at a level of 2 800 000 per gram. The CFS has informed the vendor concerned of the test result and has instructed it to stop selling the affected batch of the product. The Centre will also contact the importer/distributor concerned to trace the distribution of the food item in question and instruct it to recall the affected batch of the product," a CFS spokesman said.

According to the "Microbiological Guidelines for Food", it is potentially injurious to health or unfit for human consumption if a gram of ready-to-eat food contains more than 100 000 of Bacillus cereus.

Bacillus cereus is commonly found in the environment. Unhygienic conditions in food processing and storage may give rise to its growth. Consuming food contaminated with excessive Bacillus cereus may cause gastrointestinal upset such as vomiting and diarrhoea.

"If consumers have bought and still possess the affected batch of the product, they should stop eating it. They are advised to seek medical advice if they feel sick upon consumption. The CFS has not received any reports or complaints of persons feeling unwell after consumption of the product concerned in the past three months," the spokesman said.

The CFS will inform the Mainland authorities and alert the local trade of the incident, continue to investigate and follow up on the case. Appropriate actions will be taken to safeguard food safety and public health.

Ends/Wednesday, April 1, 2015