Ice-cream sample detected with coliform count exceeding legal limit
The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) today (September 23) announced that an ice-cream sample was found to contain a coliform count exceeding the legal limit. Follow-up is in progress.
A spokesman for the CFS said, "The CFS collected an ice-cream sample in dark chocolate flavour from a retail outlet selling frozen confection in Central for testing under its routine Food Surveillance Programme. The test result showed that the sample contained a coliform count of 1 300 per gram, exceeding the legal limit."
Under the Frozen Confections Regulation (Cap 132 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 the affected ice-cream immediately. The Centre has also provided health education on food safety and hygiene for the person-in-charge and staff of the vendor concerned, and has requested them to carry out thorough cleaning and disinfection. It will also trace the source of the affected product," the spokesman said.
In addition, as the provisional frozen confection factory licence held by the retail outlet has expired, the FEHD has instituted prosecution against the unlicensed operator concerned.
The CFS will follow up on the case closely and take appropriate action including stepping up inspection of the retail outlet concerned to safeguard food safety and public health.
Ends/Friday, September 23, 2016