Summer times and food safety
The warm weather in summer can lead to higher risk of food poisoning due to bacteria because bacteria grow faster in warm environments. This year, many regions of the world have a summer with temperature higher than their usual average. As such, CFS would like to remind members of the public and trade to be vigilant particularly during summer times to ensure food safety.
One food poisoning bacteria with particular concern is Vibrio parahaemolyticus (VP), which is one of the leading causes of food poisoning in Hong Kong. VP is commonly found in coastal waters. Men are usually affected because of the consumption of raw or undercooked seafood. Cooked food can also be cross-contaminated with the bacteria. VP can cause food poisoning symptoms like abdominal pain, diarrhoea, vomiting and sometimes mild fever.
Members of the public and trade are reminded to apply the "Five Keys to Food Safety" to prevent food poisoning. All food premises engaged in the preparation and/or sale of sashimi and sushi are subjected to licensing control.
Advice to the trade
- All sashimi and sushi sold on the premises should be kept in a refrigerator separated from other food items at a temperature between 0 °C and 4 °C.
- Raw food and ready-to-eat food should be handled separately in their designated places with separate utensils.
Advice to the public
- Cooking food thoroughly before consumption is an effective way to get rid of foodborne pathogens and hence prevent food poisoning.
- Food eaten raw, such as sashimi, should be purchased from reliable sources . If taken away, they should be consume d as soon as possible after purchase.
- The elderly, children, pregnant women and people with lowered immunity should avoid consuming raw and undercooked foods, such as sashimi and sushi.