One kind of prepackaged flour with possible E. coli contamination

Issue Date 28.7.2016
Source of Information

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS)

Food Product

Prepackaged flour

Product Name and Description

Product name: Gold Medal Unbleached Flour
Net weight: 5 pounds per pack
Use-by date: August 14, 2017

Reason For Issuing Alert

The CFS earlier advised the public to stop consuming and the trade to stop selling a number of batches of prepackaged flour produced by an American manufacturer, General Mills Inc, as the products, which had been imported into Hong Kong, might be contaminated with E. coli. The CFS found in further investigations that a local importer, City Super Limited, had imported another batch of the affected products.

People can 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 affected product was 48 packs, which were distributed only to its supermarket chain, with 11 packs being sold. The importer concerned has already stopped selling and removed from shelves the affected product earlier and surrendered the remaining stock to the CFS for disposal. It has also 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 action. Investigation is ongoing.

Advice to the Trade

Stop using or selling the product concerned immediately.

Advice to Consumers

Not to consume the affected product.

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 2736 3866 for enquiries during office hours about the recall.

Centre for Food Safety
Food and Environmental Hygiene Department