Bottled preserved bean curd contaminated with Bacillus cereus

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (January 18) 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: Sichuan Soya Beancurd with Chili & Sesame Oil
Brand: Tsin Tsu Wei
Place of origin: Taiwan
Distributor: Michael Wah Hing Co Ltd
Best-before date: August 23, 2019
Net weight: 130 grams per bottle

A spokesman for the CFS said, "The CFS collected the above-mentioned sample from a Wellcome supermarket in To Kwa Wan for testing under its routine Food Surveillance Programme. The test result showed that the sample contained Bacillus cereus at a level of 120 000 per gram. The CFS has informed the vendor and distributor concerned of the test result, and instructed them to stop sale of the affected batch of the product and initiate a recall. The CFS is tracing the source and distribution of the food item in question."

Members of the public may call Wellcome's hotline at 2299 1133 or the distributor Michael Wah Hing Co Ltd's hotline at 2898 4186 during office hours for enquiries about the recall.

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 should seek medical advice if they feel sick upon consumption," the spokesman added.

The CFS will alert the trade, continue to follow up on the incident and take appropriate action to safeguard food safety and public health. Investigation is ongoing.

Ends/Wednesday, January 18, 2017