CFS follows up on incident of French cheese suspected to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (April 17) said that while following up on the incident of cheese imported from France suspected to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, the CFS, according to the latest information provided by the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) of the European Commission, confirmed that one more local importer was found to have imported the affected product. The CFS urged the public not to consume the product concerned and the trade should stop using or selling the affected product immediately if they possess it.

Product details are as follows:

Product name: Brillat Savarin
Brand: Beillevaire
Place of origin: France
Importer: K-Element Limited
Lot No: 1900307B, 1900437B, 1901105, 1901542B, 1901757, 1901933B, 1902075B, 1902379B, 1902791 and 1903446B
Best-before dates: February 10 to April 21, 2019

"The CFS announced yesterday that certain batches of cheese imported from France had to be recalled due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. The CFS later received a notification from the RASFF updating that another local importer, K-Element Limited, had also imported the affected product," a spokesman for the CFS said.

The CFS' follow-up investigation confirmed that the importer had imported the above-mentioned batches of the affected product and all of them had been distributed. The importer has initiated a recall according to the CFS' instructions. Enquiries about the recall can be made to the importer's hotline at 3106 4722 during office hours.

"Listeria monocytogenes can be easily destroyed by cooking but can survive and multiply at refrigerator temperature. Most healthy individuals do not develop symptoms or only have mild symptoms like fever, muscle pain, headache, nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea when infected. However, severe complications such as septicaemia, meningitis or even death may occur in newborns, the elderly and those with a weaker immune system. Although infected pregnant women may just experience mild symptoms generally, the infection of Listeria monocytogenes may cause miscarriage, infant death, preterm birth, or severe infection in newborns," the spokesman said.

The spokesman urged consumers not to consume the affected product if they have bought it. The trade should also stop using or selling the product concerned immediately if they possess it.

The CFS will alert the trade to the incident, continue to follow up and take appropriate action. Investigation is ongoing.

Ends/Wednesday, April 17, 2019