Dutch milk samples detected with total bacterial counts exceeding legal limit

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (September 15) announced that two samples from different batches of pasteurised fresh whole milk imported from the Netherlands were detected with total bacterial counts exceeding the legal limit. The concerned batches of the product have not entered the market. The CFS is following up on the incident.

Product details are as follows:

Product name: Dutch Organic Fresh Whole Milk
Product brand: Holland Organics
Place of origin: Netherlands
Manufacturer: Veco Zuivel B.V.
Importer: Angliss Hong Kong Food Service Limited
Packing size: 1 litre
Use by dates: October 2, 2017, October 3, 2017

A spokesman for the CFS said, "The CFS collected the above-mentioned milk samples for testing at import level under its routine Food Surveillance Programme. The test results showed that the total bacterial count of one sample (use-by date: October 2, 2017) was 120 000 per millilitre and another sample (use-by date: October 3, 2017) was 88 000 per millilitre. According to the Milk Regulation (Cap 132 AQ), milk after heat treatment by means of pasteurisation should not contain more than 30 000 bacteria per millilitre.

"The CFS has informed the importer concerned of the irregularities. Investigation revealed that the two affected batches of product are still stored in the warehouse and have not entered the local market. The CFS has instructed the importer to either surrender the affected product for disposal or return them to the country of origin, the Netherlands. The CFS has temporarily suspended permission to import for sale of the kind of product concerned granted earlier to the importer. Other batches of the same kind of milk product being sold in the market are not affected. Prosecution will be instituted should there be sufficient evidence."

The spokesman said that the total bacterial counts exceeding the legal limit indicated that the hygienic conditions were unsatisfactory, but did not mean it would lead to food poisoning.

The CFS has informed the Dutch authorities of the incident, and will continue to follow up and take appropriate action.

Ends/Friday, September 15, 2017