CFS follows up ice-cream sample detected with coliform count exceeding legal limit

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (June 26) announced that following up on the detection of a locally made prepackaged ice-cream sample with a coliform count exceeding the legal limit earlier, the Centre again found another sample of the same kind of ice-cream but of a different batch to contain a coliform count exceeding the legal limit. The CFS urged the public not to consume the kind of ice-cream, regardless of batches, and the trade to stop using or selling the kind of product concerned.

Product details are as follows:

Product name: Sesame Swirl Gelato
Brand: iScream
Manufacturer: I-Scream Limited
Volume: 565 millilitres
Use-by date: May 29, 2016

A spokesman for the CFS said, "Following up on an unsatisfactory ice-cream sample collected from Great Food Hall at Two Pacific Place, Queensway earlier, the CFS took samples from the premises for testing again. Test result showed that one of the samples contained a coliform count of 190 per gram, exceeding the legal limit."

Under the Frozen Confections Regulation (Cap 132 sub leg AC), each gram of frozen confection for sale should not contain more than 100 coliform organisms. The maximum penalty for offenders is a fine of $10,000 and three months' imprisonment upon conviction. The fact that the coliform count exceeded the legal limit indicated that the hygienic conditions were unsatisfactory, but did not mean that consumption would lead to food poisoning.

"The CFS has informed the vendor concerned of the irregularity and instructed it to stop selling all batches of the affected ice-cream immediately. Prosecution will be instituted. According to the information provided by the vendor concerned, the supermarket chain concerned has stopped sale and removed from shelves the affected ice-cream.

The spokesman said the CFS has also followed up with the manufacturer concerned and taken samples from its factory for testing. All results are satisfactory.

The CFS will inform the local trade, follow up on the case closely and take appropriate actions. Follow-up samples will be taken for testing once the vendor concerned resumes supply of the relevant ice-cream to safeguard food safety and public health.

Ends/Friday, June 26, 2015