One kind of prepackaged cake mix with possible E. coli contamination

Issue Date 13.7.2016
Source of Information

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS)

Food Product

Prepackaged flour

Product Name and Description

Product name: Betty Crocker Delights Super Moist Carrot Cake Mix
Weight: 432 grams per pack
Use-by date: April 12, 2017

Reason For Issuing Alert

The CFS earlier had advised the public to stop consuming and the trade to stop selling certain batches of prepackaged flour produced by an American manufacturer, General Mills Inc., which had been imported into Hong Kong as the products might be contaminated with E. coli. The CFS, through its routine Food Incident Surveillance System, subsequently noted that the American manufacturer concerned has expanded its recall to include three kinds of prepackaged cake mix from the Betty Crocker brand as the products were produced with flour which might have been contaminated with E.coli. The CFS immediately followed up and preliminary investigation found that a local importer, The Dairy Farm Company Limited, had imported a batch of the affected product.

People may contract E. coli causing gastro-intestinal disease through consumption of contaminated water or undercooked and contaminated foods. Intestinal bleeding and serious complications such as hemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS) may also develop in some people. Moreover, due to poor personal hygiene, person-to-person transmission of this pathogen is possible through oral-faecal route. E. coli cannot survive under high temperature and can be killed by thorough cooking.

Action Taken by the Centre for Food Safety

According to the information provided by the importer, the import quantity of the product concerned (including the affected batch) was 864 packs, which were distributed only to its supermarket chain, with about 290 packs being sold.

The importer concerned has stopped selling and removed from shelves the affected product and initiated a recall according to the instructions of the CFS.

The CFS will alert the trade, continue to closely monitor the situation and take appropriate follow-up actions. Investigation is ongoing.

Advice to the Trade

The CFS has also informed the local trade should also stop using or selling the product concerned immediately.

Advice to Consumers

The public are advised not to consume the affected product. People should refrain from consuming any raw dough or batter products.

Further Information

The CFS press release

Members of the public may call the company's hotline at 2299 1133 or 2299 3966 for enquiries during office hours about the recall.

Centre for Food Safety
Food and Environmental Hygiene Department