A kind of raw cow's milk cheese imported from France contaminated by E. coli

Issue Date 26.8.2014
Source of Information

Notification from the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) of the European Commission

Food Product

Raw cow's milk cheese

Product Name and Description

Product name: Saint Marcellin IPG
Place of origin: France
Importer: Olivier Pacific Ltd
Lot no: 11733104
Best before date: August 7, 2014

Reason For Issuing Alert

The raw cow's milk cheese in question was suspected to be contaminated by Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O26:H11 and the manufacturer concerned in France had initiated a recall of the product. A small amount of the affected product was imported to Hong Kong last month.

E. coli O26:H11 can cause gastrointestinal disease, intestinal bleeding and serious complications such as hemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS) in some people.

Action Taken by the Centre for Food Safety

Upon notification, the CFS immediately contacted the importer concerned in Hong Kong, and has instructed the company to stop supply of the concerned product.

The CFS will alert the trade to the incident.

The CFS will continue to closely monitor the situation and take appropriate follow-up actions.

Advice to the Trade

Although the concerned product has passed its best before date, the CFS urges the trade to stop selling the affected product immediately for the sake of prudence.

Advice to Consumers

Not to consume the affected batch of the product concerned.

Stop consuming other batches of the product concerned if they are in doubt. People who have recently bought any of the product concerned abroad or online should also stop consumption.

Seek medical advice if feeling sick after consuming the product concerned.

Further Information

The CFS press release

According to the information of the RASFF, three other kinds of raw cow's milk cheese, namely, Saint Felicien, Sechon de Vache and Tommes du Dauphine have also been suspectedly affected by E. coli O26:H11. The best before dates lie between August 4 and September 3, 2014. To date, the information indicates that these products have not entered Hong Kong.

Centre for Food Safety
Food and Environmental Hygiene Department